Cacio e Pepe: How To Make A Simple Family Size Recipe

17 April 2023
By Ander Aviles
Japanese House
Flickr: Whitney

In need of a simple and easy pasta recipe to try for any season and for whatever reason? Try the beloved Roman dish called Cacio e Pepe. Surely, you’ve heard of this Roman staple in movies and shows or maybe you’ve seen it on a menu from your favorite Italian restaurant. Wherever you may have encountered this delicious food, there’s no doubt about it that you can make this dreamy, creamy food in your own kitchen.

What is it

Cacio e Pepe, pronounced as /ka-chi-oh ee peh-peh/, is a Roman pasta dish that literally means “cheese and pepper.” It is believed that this tasty and creamy Italian favorite is actually an ancient dish that was created during the long travels of Roman shepherds along the Apennine Mountains. The humble dish was the perfect recipe for the shepherds because the pasta gave them the energy they needed for their demanding work and the black pepper kept them warm on very cold nights.

What is the best pasta for Cacio e Pepe

According to La Cucina Italiana, the traditional pasta for the classic C&P is spaghetti. However, this dish now has many different adaptations, so you can definitely use other types of pasta that you like such as fettuccine, linguine, tonnarelli, tagliatelle, tagliolini, or whatever you have in your pantry. Just remember that this Roman cuisine is simple and easy, so don’t overthink the pasta and cook on!

  • ½ cup (100 grams) olive oil
  • 1 box pasta (16 ounces or 500 grams)
  • your choice of tagliatelle, fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti, tonnarelli, tagliolini
  • ¾ cup (175 grams) Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt al gusto
  • Black pepper al gusto
  1. Boil the pasta in salted water until a little bit below al dente. Then, set apart ¾ cups of the pasta water for later use.
  2. Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan over medium heat. Add a generous amount of black pepper and cook until toasted.
  3. After that, stir in the pasta water and bring it to a simmer. Put in the pasta and stir. Reduce the heat and add the parmesan. Stir and toss the mix until the cheese is melted, the sauce is completely creamy, and the pasta is al dente.
  4. Plate and serve.