Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe
Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe

Spaghetti cacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish known for its simplicity and bold flavor. The name literally translates to β€œspaghetti with cheese and pepper,” and it’s all about bringing out the rich flavors of Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Here’s how to make it:


  • 12 ounces (about 340 grams) spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Extra Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish (optional)


  1. Boil the Spaghetti:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining the pasta. This starchy water will be used later to create the sauce.
  1. Toast the Black Pepper:
  • While the spaghetti is cooking, toast the freshly ground black pepper in a dry skillet over low heat for about 1-2 minutes. This helps to release the aroma and flavor of the pepper.
  1. Make the Sauce:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese and most of the toasted black pepper (leave a little for garnish). Mix them together.
  1. Create the Creamy Sauce:
  • When the spaghetti is cooked and drained, immediately add it to the mixing bowl with the cheese and pepper. Toss and stir vigorously to combine. If the mixture seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water a little at a time and continue to mix until you achieve a creamy sauce that coats the spaghetti. The heat from the pasta and the pasta water will melt the cheese and create the creamy sauce.
  1. Adjust the Consistency:
  • Continue to add pasta cooking water as needed to reach your desired sauce consistency. It should be creamy and coat the spaghetti evenly.
  1. Season with Salt:
  • Taste the dish and add salt if necessary. Keep in mind that Pecorino Romano cheese is salty, so you may not need much additional salt.
  1. Serve:
  • Plate the spaghetti cacio e pepe, garnish with the remaining toasted black pepper, and, if desired, some extra Pecorino Romano cheese. Serve it hot.
  1. Enjoy:
  • Enjoy your spaghetti cacio e pepe as a simple yet incredibly flavorful pasta dish. It’s a Roman classic that celebrates the marriage of cheese and pepper.

Spaghetti cacio e pepe is a testament to the beauty of Italian cuisine’s simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. The dish should have a rich, creamy texture and a bold black pepper flavor, making it a favorite among pasta enthusiasts.