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4.77 from 17 votes

Cacio e Pepe

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

You only need 20 minutes and 5 ingredients to make Cacio e Pepe. This classic pasta dish is simple, but so good! This cheesy, peppery pasta is absolutely delicious and perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 398kcal


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 12 ounces bucatini pasta (can use spaghetti)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (see note)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Extra grated cheese for serving, optional


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kosher salt and return to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Don’t overcook the pasta.
  • When the pasta is about halfway done cooking, start making the sauce. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the black pepper and stir, cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water from the pasta pot and bring to a simmer. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Use a colander to drain the pasta. Add the pasta, Parmesan cheese, and Pecorino cheese to the skillet, make sure the heat is off. Using tongs, toss until the all of the cheese is melted and until all of the pasta noodles are well coated. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pasta water and turn the heat on low. Cook for 1 minute or until the water mixes into the pasta.
  • Transfer the pasta to plates or bowls and garnish with additional cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.



If you are sensitive to black pepper or don't care for it, you can reduce the amount. When we are making this dish for our boys, we usually do 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper. 
We love using bucatini for this recipe because it is thick and hearty. Spaghetti will work. Make sure you use GOOD cheese. Buy a wedge and freshly grate it yourself.


Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 2671mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1mg