Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is the most divine pasta dish made with simple, high quality ingredients. Tender noodles tossed in a two-cheese blend and a hint of cream ensure luscious forkfuls. Freshly cracked black pepper adds tiny spicy bursts of flavor with each bite.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings as an entree, 4 servings as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti, bucatini, or thick spaghetti
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 ounces (1 3/4 cup) Pecorino Romano cheese, fresh and finely grated
  • 1 ounce (1/2 cup) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, fresh and finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked, plus extra for garnish

Method

1 Cook the pasta: In a large pot, add water and bring it to a boil. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pasta, stirring occasionally until al dente (follow manufacturer's cook times). Reserve 1 1/2 cups of pasta water. Drain the pasta into a colander, then transfer the pasta to a large bowl. 

2 Make the sauce: Into a medium bowl, add the finely grated Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the hot reserved pasta water until smooth, or nearly smooth. Whisk in the heavy cream, olive oil, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

How to Make Cacio e Pepe How to Make Cacio e Pepe

3 Combine the pasta and sauce: Slowly pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, and gently toss to combine. Continue to mix the pasta for 1 to 2 minutes, gradually adding in the remaining 1/2 cup of pasta water as needed, until the desired consistency is reached.

How to Make Cacio e Pepe Authentic Cacio e Pepe Recipe - spaghetti noodles in a white bowl with black pepper.

4 Serve: Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with extra cheese and black pepper.

Authentic Cacio e Pepe Recipe - spaghetti noodles in a white bowl with black pepper.