Cacio e Pepe

Friday, September 30, 2011
This is a Roman pasta dish cacio e pepe so easy to make as it is delicious and Grandma made this often being she was from Rome, Italy, and its the origin.

The meal is made using basic simple ingredients and she added a little twist to her dish with porcini mushrooms occasionally.

This dish is prepared with hot water from the pasta, sauteed freshly cracked black pepper in butter, and lots of Pecorino Romano Cheese.

What is Cacio e Pepe

This dish hails from the Rome, Italy surrounding region. It translates to "cheese and pepper" and those ingredients that are in this dish are just that!

Black pepper, Pecorino Romano, and pasta (and of course pasta water).

Freshly cracked black pepper is plentiful so you can taste the heat, but no overpowering.

The pasta, dried spaghetti, bucatini, and tonnarelli, a square-shaped spaghetti that also goes by the name of spaghetti alla chitarra all are the traditional choices.

Ingredients You Will Need

  1. spaghetti or bucatini 
  2. pasta water
  3. Pecorino Romano cheese grated
  4. black pepper
  5. salt

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Depression Food and Simplicity

This food comes from Roman sheepherders who had very little money and this was considered peasant food and very economical.

They used their sheep's cheese they would make from scratch and a bit of the pasta water from what the macaroni was cooked in to make this delectable easy creamy pasta.

The addition of black pepper gives this dish a spicy kick in flavor.

This authentic Italian meal is not only inexpensive, it was a staple growing up for my Grandmother in her Italian home in Rome, Italy, we make this often in her memory.

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe

Yield: 6
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 6 MinTotal time: 11 Min
This food comes from Roman sheepherders who had very little money and this was considered peasant food and very economical.They used their sheep's cheese they would make from scratch and a bit of the pasta water from what the macaroni was cooked in to make this delectable easy creamy pasta.The addition of black pepper gives this dish a spicy kick in flavor.


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound cooked fresh spaghetti or bucatini pasta reserving the pasta water
  • 2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1- 1/2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper or more to taste
  • cooking spray oil


  1. In a small frying pan ( I spray with cooking spray.) saute the black pepper to toast it but don't burn it.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.
  3. Cook the fresh pasta in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, 4 to 6 minutes.
  4. Place grated Pecorino Romano cheese into a large glass bowl and mix with a fork to make sure the cheese contains no lumps.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked reserve the past water. and add the cooked pasta to a bowl with the cheese.
  6. Add one ladle of pasta water to the bowl.
  7. Vigorously stir in the cheese until the creamy consistency has formed usually around 4 minutes and no lumps remain.
  8. Add more pasta water, little by little, until a creamy sauce has formed.
  9. Add the toasted black pepper.
  10. Serve immediately.



  1. always steam and drain the broccoli
  2. always salt the water then drain but do not rinse pasta(the sauce will stick to the pasta better)
  3. never over saute the garlic or burn it will ruin this dish garlic should be light golden brown in color
  4. refer to package instructions to cook store-bought cavatelli
  5. broccoli gets stronger the next day in flavor if you have leftovers we try to eat this fresh the same day

Other Vegetables to Substitute for Broccoli

  • sauteed spinach
  • artichoke hearts
  • sundried tomatoes or chopped raw fresh tomatoes
  • sauteed escarole
  • sauteed broccoli rabe
  • sauteed peppers of any kind
  • sauteed squash zucchini or yellow
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • steamed green beans
  • sauteed asparagus
  • steamed cauliflower
  • vegetable medley

cacio e pepe recipe, Authetic Italian pasta recipe, pasta with black pepper, spaghetti with cheese , spaghetti with pasta water, peasant pasta recipes
pasta recipes, Authentic Italian pasta recipes

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Pasta and Broccoli Aioli

Homemade Orecchiette

Roman-StyleSpaghetti Alla Carbonara


  1. What a tasty pasta dish! Very very good :) Bye, have a great week end

  2. This looks terrific and I really like the ingredient list! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yum yum! That pasta looks delicious. I haven't tried eating pasta with dried mushrooms on it. But I'll try. Thank for sharing this delicious post. :)

  4. I love your pasta recepies.They are always full of new ideas:)

  5. Claudia, I do like a creamy mushroom pasta and glad you posted an easy to make one, sounds so good... hey, don't forget to vote, today is the last day....

  6. I love fettucine, spaghetti, linguine, angel hair in any kind of sauce!! The cream cheese sounds great :)

  7. Yum, plenty of cheese. I don't eat enough pasta. Something I should really change.

  8. My 'Nonno' on my Mom's side had introduced me to Pecorino Romano cheese. He wanted nothing to do with parmeggiano...can you imagine?

    Anyhow, I grew to love this cheese. Your pasta dish sounds incredibly appetizing Claudia ;o)

    Hope everything is back to a little more normal for your family.
    Have a very pleasant weekend.

  9. Great recipe - I like any kind of creamy pasta recipe so this looks perfect!

  10. This sounds really good! I love mushrooms.

  11. What a great recipe. Looks so delicious. The flavors sound amazing.

  12. This is a dish my son would just love. He loves a nice creamy fettuccine. Have a very blessed and beautiful weekend. Catherine xo

  13. Now this sounds amazing. I can taste the creaminess of the butter and cream cheese and with those mushrooms, this has to be incredible. I could eat it right now. YUM!

  14. Dear Claudia, Thank you for such a kind comment. I would love that someday we could share in the fun of cooking a beautiful dinner together and feast!!! Blessings my dear friend. Catherine xo

  15. Hi Cludia,

    Love the creamy noodles. Need to send my youngest over to taste test for you, he's a noodle fan to the most high!

    Hope things are improving for your brother and your boys!

    Big hug!!!

  16. I do not have many recipes using this type of noodle, so I am glad you posted this. I do need more variety. Creamy mushrooms and noodles-whats not to like.

  17. Yummy Yummy! I have a similar recipe at home but it doesnt have a name. I call it, "How can I make this pasta dish the creamiest and fattest meal around?" LOL I love cream cheese and butter in anything. Thanks for the post.
    Memphis, TN

  18. How creamy and delicious, Claudia! Lovely pasta~

  19. This sounds soooooooooooo good. I have to try it while I still have some fresh herbs.

  20. What decadent noodles Claudia! I love the cream cheese in them!

  21. flavourful combination looks delicious


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