Cheese Lunch Main Pasta

Classic Spaghetti Pecorino and Black Pepper, Cacio e Pepe

How to prepare the real Italian recipe of Pecorino Cheese and Black Pepper Spaghetti or “Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe”

Cacio e Pepe is an easy and quick recipe from Rome, a typical Roman pasta dish. The name literally means “Cheese and Pepper“, the ingredients of the dish are very simple and include only black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese, and pasta.  Cacio e Pepe is typically made with long, thin spaghetti, such as tonnarelli or vermicelli or its also amazing with short pasta like rigatoni. It is among the simplest pasta, but if well prepared it can be wonderful.



Ingredients for 4 people

  • 400 grams of Spaghetti Pasta (like De Cecco)
  • 160 grams of grated Pecorino Cheese
  • Plenty of Black Pepper
  • Salt as you prefer


1. In a bowl grate the Pecorino Romano cheese and add a little of cooking water (from the pasta boiling water), add plenty of pepper.

2. In the meanwhile bring water to a boil in a tall pot with a bit of salt.  Cook spaghetti or rigatoni pasta as directed on package, drain pasta “al dente” and pour into a bowl with the pecorino cheese sauce previously made, saute it all for 2 minutes to make sure that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Serve with additional grated pecorino on top.

TIP: The only precaution to be taken in preparing this dish is to leave some of the hot cooking water with the pasta: the heat melts the cheese while the starches in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta. Reserve some pasta water using a ladle. While you are boiling spaghetti, the pasta releases starch into the water.  Since starch is naturally sticky, it helps Pecorino Romano cheese fats to amalgamate well with both water and pasta.

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!