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Cacio e Pepe is a simple Roman pasta dish that is easy to make and tastes absolutely heavenly. This cheesy peppery Italian pasta is a favorite for a reason. 

Cacio e Pepe on white plate

We traveled to Rome to seek out the best recipe for Cacio e Pepe and have now brought it back to share with the masses. This recipe is authentic as it comes and is the perfect version of Cacio e Pepe to make at home. Don’t let its simplicity fool you, this pasta is absolutely delicious!

\The translation of Cacio e Pepe literally means cheese and pepper. This pasta dish is incredibly simple, but packs a lot of rich flavor with pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground pepper. It has a very rich and strong flavor due to the Pecorino Romano sharp cheese as well as the heavy amount of pepper. Warning: some might find this dish spicy. 

  • Cheese Options:

    Because this is a classic Roman dish, you should use a hard cheese from the Roma region of Italy when making this dish for the most authentic flavor. Pecorino Romano is the traditional choice. If you do not have pecorino Romano available to you, grated Parmesan is an acceptable substitute, though not an authentic choice as it comes from the Parma region of Italy.

  • Pasta Options:

    The traditional choice of pasta for Cacio e Pepe is tonnarelli pasta, a thick round long pasta similar to a thick spaghetti or bucatini. Since these are both similar in shape, they both make acceptable substitutes where tonnarelli is not available.

  • Storage and Reheating Instructions:

    Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove over medium low heat until warmed through with a scant amount of water to keep it from sticking together. 

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other pasta recipes:

Authentic Cacio e Pepe with fork
cacio e pepe on plate
Cacio e Pepe is a simple Roman pasta dish that is easy to make and tastes absolutely heavenly. This cheesy peppery Italian pasta is a favorite for a reason.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tonnarelli or thick spaghetti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 cup pasta water approximate
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in salt. Cook your pasta until al dente.
  • Remove cooked pasta from the water with tongs when finished and placed into a large mixing bowl.
  • Working quickly, add in 1 1/4 cups pecorino romano cheese immediately, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup. Add in 1/2 cup of the pasta water and pepper.
  • Stir with tongs quickly to allow the heat from the pasta and water to melt the cheese. Add remaining water until you have a thick, creamy sauce coating the pasta.
  • Serve hot sprinkled with remaining cheese.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 1469mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cacio e Pepe
cacio e pepe on plate
Cacio e Pepe is a simple Roman pasta dish that is easy to make and tastes absolutely heavenly. This cheesy peppery Italian pasta is a favorite for a reason.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tonnarelli or thick spaghetti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 cup pasta water approximate
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in salt. Cook your pasta until al dente.
  • Remove cooked pasta from the water with tongs when finished and placed into a large mixing bowl.
  • Working quickly, add in 1 1/4 cups pecorino romano cheese immediately, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup. Add in 1/2 cup of the pasta water and pepper.
  • Stir with tongs quickly to allow the heat from the pasta and water to melt the cheese. Add remaining water until you have a thick, creamy sauce coating the pasta.
  • Serve hot sprinkled with remaining cheese.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 1469mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Cacio e Pepe
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