Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Image of Paola van der Hulst
Rated 5.0 based on 5 customer reviews
Cacio e Pepe Pasta
Cacio e Pepe Pasta
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  • 7 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for serving
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add spaghetti and boil until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove and reserve 1½ cups of the pasta water and set aside to cool. Drain spaghetti.
  3. 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 the reserved pasta water into the skillet; add the spaghetti and increase heat to medium. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spaghetti is al dente, 3 to 5 minutes; remove from heat. 
  4. Stir in Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses; serve immediately with more Parmigiano Reggiano and pepper.
Mealthy tip:

If gluten-free is a concern, make with brown rice pasta, as it will likely hold together best when cooked al dente. Avoid quinoa and corn pastas for this dish.


5.0out of 5 Stars

(5 Reviews)

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What others are saying

Image of Paul Kriloff

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.

Image of Randall Hauk

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?

Image of Shannon Whittier

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)!

Image of Aja A

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.

Image of Caro Hodgin

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.