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spaghetti cacio e pepe

Spaghetti cacio e pepe

  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x


This classic Roman dish is made with just three simple ingredients: spaghetti, Pecorino cheese, and black pepper. Follow our easy recipe for a creamy and delicious pasta dish that will impress your guests.


  • 400 grams of spaghetti
  • 250 grams of pecorino romano, grated
  • 6 grams of black peppercorns


  1. Fill a pot with water and place it on the stove to cook the pasta. For a richer starch content, use half the amount of water you usually use.

  2. While the water is heating up, grate the Roman Pecorino cheese and transfer almost all of it to a bowl, saving some for later use.

  3. Once the water comes to a boil, add salt and add the spaghetti.

  4. While the pasta cooks, crush the black peppercorns with a meat mallet or use a grinder, leaving them rather large for even distribution.

  5. In a large non-stick frying pan, toast the peppercorns over low heat, stirring them with a wooden spoon. Deglaze the pan with a couple of ladles of the pasta cooking water and continue stirring over low heat.

  6. Drain the spaghetti 2-3 minutes before the recommended cooking time on the package and transfer it to the pan, reserving the cooking water.

  7. Finish cooking the spaghetti in the pan, bringing it to a boil again and adding hot water as necessary. Stir constantly with tongs and wait until the bottom of the pan is almost dry before adding more water.

  8. Prepare the Pecorino cream by pouring a ladle of hot cooking water into the bowl with the grated cheese. Mix vigorously with a hand whisk until you achieve a more pasty consistency.

  9. If the cream is ready before the pasta, keep it at a temperature similar to the pasta by placing the bowl on the saucepan with hot water and continuing to mix with the whisk.

  10. When the spaghetti is cooked, turn off the heat and add the Pecorino cream, stirring constantly with tongs.

  11. Adjust the creaminess of the dish by adding more Pecorino or a little cooking water as needed.

  12. Serve your spaghetti cacio e pepe by sprinkling with the remaining grated Pecorino cheese and more freshly ground pepper to taste.


When salting pasta water, use caution as pecorino romano is very salty. Salt the water moderately to avoid over-salting the dish.

It’s best to consume Spaghetti cacio e pepe immediately after preparing it.

Avoid any form of conservation as it may affect the dish’s texture and flavour.

To achieve a creamy and delicious sauce without lumps, it’s crucial to use pasta cooking water that’s rich in starch. 

To make sure your pasta is cooked to perfection, check my post on how to cook pasta like an Italian

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian
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