This cacio e pepe recipe is fantastic because it only requires 6 ingredients. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, this recipe is loaded with flavor. I can guarantee this simple pasta recipe will be a family favorite.

Cacio e Pepe – Healthyish Foods

What is Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is a simple Italian pasta recipe. The term cacio e pepe literally means “cheese and pepper”. This version is made from finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, cracked black pepper, butter, olive oil, salt, pasta water and spaghetti pasta.

If you do not have Pecorino Romano on hand, Parmesan Reggiano will work perfectly too. Just make sure the cheese is finely grated so it melts into the sauce. As far as cuts of pasta go, I like using spaghetti for this recipe. However, bucatini or thin linguini would work well too.

How to Make Cacio e Pepe

  • Boil a pot of water and season it with salt.
  • Cook the pasta al dente.
  • Reserve about ¾ cup pasta water.
  • Place a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil, cracked black pepper and salt.
  • Once the pepper is fragrant add the cooked pasta. Toss well.
  • Next, add some pasta water and the grated cheese. Toss well.
  • Add as much pasta water as you need to help the cheese fully melt.
  • Finally, add the butter and stir until it’s smooth and creamy.
Cacio e Pepe – Healthyish Foods

Tips for Making Cacio e Pepe

  • Be sure to cook the pasta al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the pan with the cheese sauce, so you do not want it to get soggy.
  • If the cheese begins to clump, add more pasta water. The hot pasta water will help melt the cheese and create a smooth creamy sauce.
  • It’s important to use crack black pepper. If you do not have cracked black pepper handy, reduce the amount of pepper you use for this recipe.

Storage

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through. Add a splash of water when reheating. This will help to loosen the pasta and make the sauce creamy again.  

Looking for more pasta recipes? Try my Homemade Vegetable Bolognese or my Creamy Spinach Artichoke Bake. Both are easy to make and delicious.  

Cacio e Pepe – Healthyish Foods
Cacio e Pepe – Healthyish Foods

Cacio e Pepe

This cacio e pepe recipe is fantastic because it only requires 6 ingredients and one pan. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, this recipe is loaded with flavor.
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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces spaghetti, al dente
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper, If you do not have cracked black pepper, use about 1-2 teaspoons of regular.
  • ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water , use as much as you need to get a creamy smooth sauce

Equipment

  • pasta pot
  • skillet
  • grater
  • measuring cups
  • tongs
  • wooden spoon

Instructions 

  • Boil a pot of water and season it with salt.
  • Cook the pasta al dente.
  • Reserve about ¾ cup pasta water.
  • Place a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil, cracked black pepper and salt.
  • Once the pepper is fragrant, add the cooked pasta. Toss well.
  • Next, add some of the pasta water and the grated cheese. Toss well.
  • Add as much pasta water as you need to help the cheese fully melt.
  • Finally, add the butter and stir until the pasta and the sauce are smooth and creamy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 860mg, Potassium: 164mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 261IU, Calcium: 220mg, Iron: 1mg