A plate of spaghetti with cacio, parmesan cheese, and parsley.

Ultimate Cacio e Pepe: A Classic Roman Pasta Delight

Cacio e Pepe on a white plate

When I was in Rome last week I finally got to have a taste of Cacio e Pepe in Italy.

Cacio e Pepe (Roman pasta with Pecorino cheese and pepper). Easy and edible in <20 minutes! With fresh cheese and fresh pepper this makes a killer dinner! | www.alldayieat.com

Cacio e Pepe is a pasta dish with cheese and pepper. It sounds very simple and tastes quite good. If you’ve never had it, think of it as a much lighter version of Alfredo. But with fresh cracked pepper for an extra kick.

The place I ate Cacio e Pepe at was Taverna Trilussa. Taverna Trilussa  is known for good Roman cuisine. We had two dishes while we were there. Cacio e Pepe on the left and Bucatini all’ Amatriciana right. Both were good. If you are ever in Rome, I would recommend checking this place out. You need a reservation since it gets busy and many people were turned away without one.

cacio e pepe | alldayieat.comBucatini all' Amatriciana | alldayieat.com

I am happy to report that the Cacio e Pepe I put together was very similar in flavor, texture and overall tastiness!

I originally learned of this dish through Seriouseats.com. There was a video posted of Kenji making this and it seemed extremely easy. So I decided to give it a go. This recipe has been adapted from that video.

Melting the butter in olive oil:

Cacio e Pepe sauce

Boiling the pasta in very little salted water 

boiling pasta

Mixing in the cheese!

pasta with cheese

Updated for 2018

Here is a new video I made following my recipe, but using a 5 peppercorn blend of pepper!

In case you missed them, here are some of my other pasta recipes!

[display-posts tag=”pasta”]



Cacio e Pepe (Roman pasta with cheese and pepper)

A plate of spaghetti with cacio, parmesan cheese, and parsley.

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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper (+ more to taste)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound Spaghetti (225g)
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter (15g)
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (approximately 60 grams)


  1. Heat 5 tablespoons olive oil and a teaspoon of black pepper in a skillet over medium heat until ingredients are fragrant, After about 1 minute remove from heat.
  2. Add spaghetti to a large skillet and cover with water. Season with a small pinch of salt, then bring to a boil over high heat until spaghetti is al dente.
  3. Drain pasta and reserve at least 1/4 cup pasta water.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoons pasta water and 1 Tablespoon butter to the olive oil pepper mixture. Add spaghetti and cheese and mix thoroughly until cheese is melted
  5. Add additional pasta water to thin if necessary. Top with more cracked pepper and cheese. Serve immediately.
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8 thoughts on “Ultimate Cacio e Pepe: A Classic Roman Pasta Delight”

  1. Danielle N. Salmon

    You had me at “fresh cracked pepper”!!! That pasta sounds so delicious and you getting to check out Rome sounds like it must have been a blast. Great post!!!

    Danielle | FollowMyGut.com <3

  2. cookingwithauntjuju.com

    I love just about any kind of pasta and I do like sprinkling pepper on many dishes. A tsp. of pepper, huh? I bet it’s good 🙂

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