Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper (Cacio e Pepe) - Such a flavorful dinner ready in 25 minutes! #pasta #main #cacioepepe
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4.6 from 5 votes

Pasta with Pecorino and Pepper (Cacio e Pepe)

A zesty, cheesy pasta dish from Rome. Ready in under 25 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30 minutes or less, pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 518kcal
Author: Cooking with Mamma C


  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2/3 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 cup reserved salted water from cooking your pasta (plus 1 extra cup if needed)
  • 1 pound spaghetti (or linguine or farfalle)
  • parsley for garnish (optional)


  • Fill a large pasta pot 2/3 full with hot water. Place the pot on your stove over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cover the pot.
  • Grate your Pecorino, if needed. (I grate chunks of the cheese in my blender.)
  • Add your grated cheese and the black pepper to a bowl large enough to fit your cooked pasta. Stir the cheese and pepper to combine.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add your pasta to the pot, stirring it in. Stir your pasta every few minutes to prevent sticking.
  • After your pasta has been cooking for at least five minutes, scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water (a standard ladle) and slowly, gradually add it to your cheese mixture, while stirring to combine. Scoop 1/4 cup more (half a ladle) and slowly add it to the cheese while stirring. You want the mixture to be creamy, not watery.
  • Place an extra cup of cooking water in a separate, small bowl just in case you need it a little later.
  • When your pasta is cooked (see the al dente directions on your package and taste the pasta a little before that to see if it's done), drain your pasta in a colander in the sink.
  • Transfer the cooked pasta to your large bowl with the Pecorino and pepper sauce. Toss the pasta in the Cacio e Pepe sauce until the spaghetti is coated well. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit more of the reserved water.
  • Serve the pasta immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired, and with extra pepper and cheese at the table. (See notes.)
  • If you have any leftovers, add extra reserved water to them to prevent them from being too dry. (See notes.) Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.



This dish is best eaten immediately, or it will start to get dry. If there is any delay in serving anyone, you can stir in a little extra reserved cooking water to that portion. The leftovers will be dry, so you can add some of the pasta water before storing them, but you still might need to add butter or oil when warming them up later.


Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Calcium: 290mg | Iron: 1.7mg