Cacio e Pepe

Have you ever tried “Cacio e Pepe” before? It might sound fancy – Italian has that effect – but when it’s translated? It just means cheese and pepper! Those ingredients are the stars of this pasta dish, and like all the best meals, it’s totally simple and simply delicious. Watch how easy it is to make, and impress your friends and family by giving it a try.

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Serves 2 to 3


  • 6 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino Romano


  1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water, then add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the recommended time on the package directions.
  2. Drain the pasta, and reserve ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the now-empty pot over medium heat. Add the pepper and cook for 1 minute to toast the pepper.
  4. Add ½ of the reserved pasta water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and add the Parmesan and pecorino, stirring until melted.
  5. Add the pasta and turn with tongs to coat in the sauce. Add more of the pasta water if the sauce seems dry.
  6. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until the pasta is al dente and thoroughly coated in the sauce.

All you need are the basics for a great Italian dish! What do you think of it? Will you make it with bucatini, or do you prefer spaghetti? Which cheeses do you prefer?

Recipe adapted from Epicurious