Classic Pasta Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a gateway to the world of pasta. It belongs to the original four classic Roman pasta dishes. As the name from Italian suggests, the recipe consists of two basic ingredients, namely cheese and black pepper. At first glance, it may seem kinda boring, but this dish can undoubtedly pleasantly surprise you.

With the right technique, you can make full use of the potential and harmony of these two ingredients. However, what you absolutely need are two things: pasta water and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Pecorino Romano is a cheese made with sheep’s milk, which is characterized by its tangy aroma and salinity. It comes from the Lazio region and is part of many Italian, especially Roman pasta dishes. If you can’t find Pecorino Romano, you can also use Parmesan (but real stuff).

However, since cheese is the main ingredient in the Cacio e Pepe recipe, Pecorino is definitely the right choice.

If you have whole black peppercorns, do not hesitate to use them. By crushing or grinding the whole peppercorns, you will achieve a fresher and more intense taste. Moreover, the more quality the peppercorns, the better. Before grinding, you can also gently toast them in a pan to release an even better aroma.


Two ways to prepare pasta Cacio e Pepe

I like classic spaghetti for this recipe. The quality of the pasta is also a deciding factor. Cheap spaghetti doesn’t hold the sauce well and it may seem that the spaghetti is drier and all the sauce is on the bottom of the plate.

While the spaghetti is cooked in well-salted water, mix the freshly grated cheese with a little pasta water. Add lightly toasted and freshly ground black pepper to the pan on medium-low heat. Before the pasta is al dente, transfer it straight from the pot to the pan.

Add the cheese mixture and mix well. If necessary, add pasta water until a perfectly creamy sauce is formed. Don’t be afraid to add more, as the pasta will get a little thicker when served.


Another way is even easier, where you don’t even need a pan. Add freshly ground black pepper and grated Pecorino cheese to the plate. If the spaghetti is al dente, add it straight to a plate and mix well. Here you can also add pasta water as needed.

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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Classic Pasta Cacio e Pepe

  • Author: Cook Homey
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


The Roman Classic! I think it’s one of the most underrated pasta dishes. Maybe it’s because it basically contains only two ingredients, but that’s actually what makes this dish so unique.


  • 300g pasta (spaghetti or bucatini)
  • 150g Pecorino Romano (freshly grated)
  • 1 1/2 tsp good quality black peppercorns (freshly ground)
  • Pasta water
  • Salt


  1. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water. Stir occasionally.
  2. Toast your peppercorns in a pan for a minute and grind them finely. Add to the same pan (turn the heat off).
  3. Grate the cheese finely and mix with a little bit of pasta water to create a nice paste mixture.
  4. Pour some pasta water over the freshly ground black pepper into the pan. Turn the heat on.
  5. Before your pasta is al dente, start transferring pasta into the pan. Add more pasta water as needed to keep the sauce creamy.
  6. When spaghetti is al dente, turn off the heat and add the cheese mixture. Start mixing immediately to incorporate well.
  7. Serve topped with extra pecorino cheese and freshly ground black pepper.


Use quality ingredients. Pecorino cheese is a must.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 2 Servings
  • Calories: Amount per serving: 729
  • Sugar: 2.7g
  • Sodium: 3842mg
  • Fat: 24.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 19.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.8g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 35.8g
  • Cholesterol: 190mg

Keywords: cacio e pepe, classic roman pasta, spaghetti cacio e pepe

2 Responses

  1. Lovely recipe. So simple, yet so delicious! Cacio e pepe should get more attention.

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I’m Juraj and I come from Slovakia. It’s a small country in the heart of Europe. I believe you all love food and cooking as much as I do. On this blog you will find a variety of recipes that you can easily and joyfully prepare at home.

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