Classic Cacio e Pepe

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I still remember the first time I tasted Cacio e Pepe, a simple yet mind-blowingly delicious Italian pasta dish that has forever changed my definition of comfort food. This recipe is perfect for those days when you crave something warm, comforting, and satisfying, yet incredibly easy to make.

It was a chilly winter evening, and my best friend had invited me over to her place for a cozy dinner. As we caught up on life, she prepared this classic Roman dish, and I couldn’t believe how simple and straightforward the ingredients were. When I took my first bite, I was blown away by the perfect harmony of flavors and textures.

Cacio e Pepe, which literally translates to “cheese and pepper,” is a prime example of Italian cuisine’s philosophy: simplicity is key. Made with just a few basic ingredients – pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, and pasta water – this dish is a true testament to the magic of minimalist cooking.

One of the secrets to making an unforgettable Cacio e Pepe is to use high-quality ingredients. Since there are only a few components, each one plays a crucial role in the final result. Splurge on a good block of Pecorino Romano and freshly ground black pepper – trust me, it’s worth it.

Another tip I’ve learned along the way is to be generous with the pepper. The dish is meant to have a bit of a kick, so don’t be shy when seasoning your pasta. The combination of the sharp, salty cheese and the warm, spicy pepper creates an irresistible flavor that will have you coming back for seconds (or thirds).

The real magic happens when you emulsify the pasta water and cheese to create a lusciously creamy sauce without any actual cream. This technique is the key to mastering Cacio e Pepe, so take your time and enjoy the process.

Now, whenever I need a pick-me-up or want to impress someone with my culinary skills, I whip up a batch of Cacio e Pepe. It has become my go-to comfort food, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

So, grab your favorite pasta, a block of Pecorino Romano, and some freshly ground black pepper, and let’s get cooking! I promise you’ll fall in love with this decadent, comforting, and unbelievably easy dish just like I did.

Once you’ve mastered the art of Cacio e Pepe, you’ll find yourself making it time and time again. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, a romantic date night, or even a cozy gathering with friends. There’s truly no wrong time to indulge in this heavenly pasta dish.

Enjoy, and buon appetito!

Classic Cacio e Pepe

Course: Main CourseCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Cooking time





Master the art of Italian comfort food with this simple, delicious, and quick Cacio e Pepe recipe!


  • 12 oz (340 g) spaghetti, linguine, or your favorite pasta

  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • Salt, for pasta water


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine the Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper in a large bowl.
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.
  • Slowly pour 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water into the cheese and pepper mixture, stirring constantly to create a creamy sauce.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat each strand evenly.
  • If necessary, add more pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with additional cheese and pepper if desired.


  • For a creamier sauce, you can add a tablespoon of butter or extra virgin olive oil while tossing the pasta with the sauce.
  • To achieve a perfect emulsion, it’s essential to use hot pasta water, as it helps melt the cheese and create a smooth sauce.

Cacio e Pepe pairs beautifully with a simple green salad, roasted vegetables, or crusty bread. It’s an excellent choice for a quick weeknight dinner, a romantic date night, or a cozy gathering with friends.

With its comforting flavors and minimal ingredients, Cacio e Pepe is a dish you’ll love making any time you crave something warm, satisfying, and easy to prepare.

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