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Cacio e Pepe Recipe

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Cacio e Pepe is the epitome of simplicity in Roman pasta dishes, using just 2 key ingredients: pecorino romano cheese (cacio) and black pepper (pepe). Despite its simplicity, achieving the perfect timing and texture can be a bit tricky, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get it just right.

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 200 g (7 oz) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 350 g (12.3 oz) pasta (spaghetti or tonnarelli)
  • Good quality black pepper, freshly cracked
  • Salt


  1. Prepare the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add a handful of black peppercorns to the water to infuse the pasta with extra flavor.
    • Scoop out a large glass of the peppery water and allow it to cool slightly.
    • Before adding the pasta to the water, remove and discard the black peppercorns. They are used simply to add flavor.
  2. Make the Sauce:
    • There are several methods to achieve the perfect creamy sauce. An easy way is to use a food processor or hand blender.
    • Put the grated pecorino cheese in the food processor and gradually add the warm peppery water. Blend until you get a smooth, creamy sauce. Be very careful with the water temperature; if it’s too hot, the cheese will form lumps.
    • Add a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the pasta well. Transfer the smooth sauce into a large bowl.
  3. Alternative Method:
    • If you’re feeling adventurous or find yourself without power, place the pecorino cheese in a bowl and gradually add the peppery water while stirring vigorously. Add freshly cracked black pepper and keep stirring until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy.
  4. Combine and Serve:
    • Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and add it to the bowl of sauce.
    • Stir the pasta vigorously until the cacio e pepe cream perfectly coats the spaghetti.

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