Pasta Cacio e Pepe

 pasta cacio e pepe

2-3 servings


  • 450 grams spaghetti, bucatini or tonnarelli
  • 450 ml pasta water
  • 115 grams peccorino cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp very coarsely ground black pepper, or whole peppercorns if using a mortar and pestle
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)



  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and pasta.
  2. With a couple of minutes left until the pasta is done, take the pot off the heat and save 450 ml of the pasta water.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, add the pepper to the mortar and gently tap the peppercorns with the pestle until 8 - 12 mesh.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil just to cover the bottom (optional).
  5. Add the pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add about 180 ml of the pasta water to the skillet and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat the pasta.
  8. From here you can either add a handful of cheese at a time, stir and add more pasta water as needed until the sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta without clumping. Or you can add about 2/3 of the remaining pasta water to the pecorino in a bowl and stir into a creamy lump-free sauce then add the cheese sauce to the pasta and stir until all pasta is coated, add more pasta water if needed.
  9. Serve with some additional pepper and pecorino as topping.

ingredients for pasta cacio e pepe

pepper ground in a mortar and pestle

Enameled Cast Iron Dutch oven

pasta boiling in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven

pasta cacio e pepe served

pasta cacio e pepe served with extra pecorion and pepper


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