Cacio e Pepe Pasta
- 7 ounces spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for serving
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rapid boil. Add spaghetti and boil until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Reserve 1½ cups of pasta water; set aside to cool. Strain spaghetti.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir pepper into the browned butter. Pour reserved pasta water into the skillet; add spaghetti and increase heat to medium. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until spaghetti is al dente, 3 to 5 minutes; remove from heat.
- Stir Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Pecorino cheese into pasta mixture; serve immediately with more Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pepper.
If gluten-free is a concern, make with brown rice pasta, as it will likely hold together best when cooked until al dente. Avoid quinoa and corn pastas for this dish. Finely grated Parmesan cheese will work just as well as Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
What others are saying
Joni Shenck says:
After re-reading the reviews I must have done something wrong, even the kids found it bland. I could see it as a side dish like Shannon served it, and maybe a secret ingredient or two.
Geoff Villeneuve says:
It's literally cheese and pepper!
Paul Kriloff says:
I love this recipe. I made a couple of changes. I used bucatini instead of spaghetti, and I gave it less time in the sauce pan - maybe 2-3 minutes to finish instead of 3-5. I also like to amp up the pepper. I have a secret twist on the sauce that is very true to the original, but gives it an even richer flavor. The recipe, though, is a classic rendition on the Roman classic.
Randall Hauk says:
Mac-n-cheese it isn't, but technically, it's not far off. It's like a grown-up version of Kraft dinner. Very quick and with a lot better flavor. File it under "comfort food." Add garlic, too, if you like garlic. Who doesn't like garlic?
Shannon Whittier says:
I made this as a side dish and got tons of compliments. I made it with spaghetti squash and added some garlic salt. Very simple and easy to make (probably easier with regular pasta and not the spaghetti squash)!
Aja A says:
This is how I like my pasta! Lots of butter, cheese, and pepper - nothing more, nothing less. This is the ultimate comfort pasta. Use lots of pepper! For a very simple recipe, this is still sure to please during a romantic date night.
Caro Hodgin says:
I am a Cacio e Pepe aficionado - I think by now I've made every recipe on the internet. So believe me when I say, this is a perfect Cacio e Pepe recipe. Make it tonight, make it the next night, and make it the next night.