Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is a simple yet flavorful Italian pasta dish made with just a few ingredients: Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, and pasta. It’s a classic Roman dish that’s usually made with spaghetti or bucatini, but any type of pasta will do. The key to this dish is to get the right ratio of cheese to pasta water to pepper, and to make sure the cheese is fully melted before adding the pasta.


  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti or bucatini
  • 1 cup pasta water


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cheese and pepper.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl with the cheese. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water and toss to combine.
  4. Add more pasta water, a little at a time, until the sauce is the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Potential changes & improvements

If you want a creamier sauce, you can add a bit of heavy cream or milk to the cheese and pepper mixture. For a spicy kick, add some red pepper flakes to the cheese mixture. You can also add some chopped parsley or other fresh herbs for extra flavor. If you’re not a fan of Pecorino Romano, you can use Parmesan cheese instead.

What other food it works well with

This dish goes well with a simple green salad and a glass of white wine.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake is to add the pasta to the cheese mixture before it’s fully melted. This will result in a clumpy sauce. Another mistake is to not add enough pasta water, which will make the sauce too thick. Be sure to add the pasta water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Nutritional Information

This dish is high in calories and fat due to the cheese. It is also high in sodium.


This dish contains milk and wheat.

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