With very little to improve upon, cacio e pepe has withstood evolution, with the exception of occasional (and widely disputed) additions of butter, oil, or cream. Cacio e pepe has seen the rise of successful spin-offs, namely in the form of pizza or risotto. After the 2012 earthquakes that devastated the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, chef Massimo Bottura wanted to utilize the nearly 1,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano that were damaged in the disaster. He devised an ingenious technique for risotto. First, he simmers the cheese in water, then refrigerates the broth to separate it into three distinct layers: protein solids on the bottom, a thick broth in the middle, and a Parmigiano-Reggiano cream on top. He slowly stirs the broth into the risotto, just like one would chicken stock, and adds the cream at the end, giving the risotto a luxurious texture (and little need for additional salt).