Cacio E Pepe

Matte Black Bowls
by Matte Black Bowls
4 People
20 min

This recipe always amazes me to see how something so delicious can come from a few of the most simple ingredients. This is the perfect recipe to keep in mind for when you only have a few ingredients in the fridge, or when you want something quick and easy. It is equally as impressive as a meal to serve up friends. Bucatini is my favourite pasta shape to use as it soaks up the creamy sauce.

Traditional Cacio e Pepe is made with just three main ingredients – pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. However, some variations may include a touch of extra virgin olive oil or butter for added richness.

Recipe details
  • 4  People
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 8 oz (225g) spaghetti or bucatini pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 150g) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt for pasta water
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional, for finishing)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the freshly ground black pepper to the skillet and toast it for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to burn it.
Once the pepper is toasted, add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Bring it to a simmer.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the simmering water and pepper. Toss the pasta gently to coat it with the pepper-infused water.
Gradually add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese to the pasta, tossing continuously until the cheese melts and forms a creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water gradually until you reach your desired consistency.
Once the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy, remove the skillet from the heat.
Taste the pasta and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or black pepper to taste.
Serve the Cacio e Pepe immediately, drizzling with a little extra virgin olive oil if desired. Garnish with additional freshly ground black pepper and grated Pecorino Romano cheese if desired.