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Cacio e Pepe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


Considered to be the ultimate Italian comfort food, Cacio e Pepe lives up to its reputation. One of the most beloved Italian recipes, it is so easy to prepare and completely delicious with less than 5 ingredients (that includes the salt and pepper). In the time that it takes to boil water and cook pasta to the perfect al dente texture, you've got a meal ready to enjoy!


Units Scale
  • 8 oz. of good quality, Italian spaghetti
  • 6 cups well-salted boiling water
  • Set aside 11/2 cups of the hot pasta water
  • 2 tablespoon freshly, coarsely grated pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus a LOT more for garnish
  • OR 3/4 cup grated parmigiana cheese plus 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese if you prefer a less sharp, less salty cheese flavor.


    1. In a large, wide frying pan, saute’ the pepper in either water or melted butter for a few minutes.
    2. In a tall pot of boiling hot water, cook the pasta until ‘al dente’ (firm but not hard when you bite into it), about 4 minutes and not the amount of time indicated on the package instructions.
    3. Start the sauce while the spaghetti is cooking and use the same frying pan with the sauteed black pepper. Melt the butter in the pan on low heat.
    4. Pull the pasta up and out of the pot and allow it to drain. Don’t throw the pasta water away!
    5. In the frying pan with the butter and sauteed black pepper, add several ladles of the hot pasta water.
    6. Add the drained pasta to the frying pan and toss the pasta with the butter-pepper-water mixture. Cook the pasta in the “sauce” until it has absorbed most of the liquid.
    7. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in 1-3/4 cups of grated Pecorino Romano to the pasta. Stir continually so that the pasta becomes creamy.
    8. If the ‘sauce’ begins to clump or gets too dry, just add a little more of the pasta water as you are stirring.
    9. Garnish with more freshly grated cheese and freshly cracked black peppercorns.
    10. Minced fresh Italian parsley and/or a sprig of fresh Italian parsley is a very pretty garnish too!

Buon Appetito!

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