Cacio e Pepe

Picture 31

There’s nothing better than being able to whip up a full meal from whatever supplies you have on hand. Cacio e Pepe, translated as “cheese and pepper” is an Italian staple, and one of the simplest pasta recipes you’re likely to come across. Although most recipes incorporate Pecorino Romano and/or Cacio di Roma, variations in the pasta’s thickness differ only subtly-ranging from light to semi creamy (like this recipe). While spaghetti is commonly used, bucatini, tonnarelli, and vermicelli are popular options. Pair with a squeeze of lemon or fresh vegetables for summer. Recipe below the pictures-enjoy!!




  • Kosher salt
  • 6 oz. pasta (such as egg tagliolini, bucatini, or spaghetti)
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano


1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
3. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts, sauce coats the pasta, and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit


  1. I love the simplicity of this spaghetti dish. This is truly all I need on my pasta. (especially a good quality pasta) You photographs “do” justice to this dish… sigh…

    1. True-simple yet flavorful (and quick). Your photos are beautiful!

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