Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe {Spaghetti w/cheese & pepper}

I don’t think you’ll find a simpler dish than this. Pasta, Pecorino cheese & pepper. Yes that is the extent of it. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe is a very traditional Roman dish. In case you’re wondering why Formaggio isn’t used in this title, “Cacio” is Italian dialect for Cheese. In it’s simplicity is it’s deliciousness (deep, eh ; ). It’s a dish that has to be eaten immediately and while very warm. It’s perfect for those nights when you’re in a huge rush and you need something on the table NOW! Or when you’re coming home super late and want something more than a bowl of cereal!   


It takes all of about 6-8 mins to make. However long your spaghetti takes to cook (to al dente that is, no longer) is how long this dish takes. You grate the Pecorino cheese while the pasta is cooking and that’s about the extent of prep. I know right! Because there are only 3 ingriedients you’ll need to use a good quality Pecorino cheese here. No skimping ; )

You don’t have to be so careful about draining the pasta completely either. You want them slightly damp with the cooking water. The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese and make the sauce creamy (add your water slowly until it’s just creamy, remember you can always add more water but it’s hard to take away just sayin), and then the freshly ground black pepper will add another layer of flavor to the dish. The kicker if you will! You’ll want to use a nice big heap of pepper, don’t be shy here. I mean it! Freshly ground black pepper is the way to go. You do have a peppermill don’t you? Or heck even a pestle mortar would do the job nicely and help work out some of that stress you might have built up ; )  


Get your fork! What are you waiting for ; )


What you’ll need:
1 lb box of Spaghetti
1/2 cup Pecorino Cheese – grated
a nice big heap of black pepper (up to 1 tbsp) – freshly ground

What to do:
Into a large stockpot add enough water to boil the pasta. Season it generously with salt. When water is boiling add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserving roughly 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Place the grated cheese into the bottom of your serving bowl and add a LITTLE of the reserved cooking water at a time. Mix it together just until it’s creamy. When al dente drain the pasta and place it into serving bowl and toss to combine. Add in pepper. Toss to combine & if needed add in more of the reserved cooking water, toss and serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1

    This is awesome! I love how simple it is–I’m TOTALLY going to make this tomorrow night for dinner. Mr. Fuji is going to be out of town and simple sounds good!

  2. 2

    I love my micrograter. This looks like the perfect dish to employ it.

  3. 3

    One of my favorites. Never knew about it until I pigged-out on it in Rome. Now I make it at home, but it is just never the same. No dish ever tastes as good made at home after eating it in Italy. 🙂

  4. 4

    Every time we go to Rome, we have to have this dish at least a couple of times. We love it. And we love to make it at home.

  5. 5

    Another one that had this dish many, many years ago in a little sweet place near the Spanish Steps. Now I make it at home and it is one of my favorites

  6. 6
    roberta /

    Easy but difficult!
    One of the easier difficult recipies.
    Only 3 ingredients but … you need competence, hight quality products and good luck.

  7. 7

    This is one of the great pasta dishes that is perfect for an easy supper, but it tastes more complicated than it is!

  8. 8

    I just love this dish. It so brings me back to the days when we lived in Rome. It’s a quick and delicious dinner to have anytime.

  9. 9
    lisa bailey /

    aaaaah, comfort food. absolutely my #1 go to dish when I need to capture a bit of childhood!


  10. 10

    I’ve been making this dish in one way or another for years and i LOVE it…there’s something so simple and amazing about it!

  11. 11

    I’ve made spaghetti with only olives and cheese and love it! This sounds really good, too.

  12. 12

    I’ve never had this but it sounds so perfect! Definitely need to try it out, simple pasta dishes are often the best.

  13. 13
    ann /

    finally – someone else who uses “cacio” – my husband uses that term all the time – I’m constantly explaining it to folks ! love the recipe, easy works for me…..

  14. 14

    Simple and SO delicious!

  15. 15

    Simplicity at its best – love it!

  16. 16

    Oh yummy is this, straight from nonna’s table to your blog!

  17. 17

    Simple and delicious…it’s perfect!

  18. 18

    Thank you. Sounds great. I love, love, love easy!

  19. 19

    Yum… I love simple pasta dishes. I think we might actually have this for dinner tonight because I am going to be out all day and need something quick and easy! I bet it would be good with some broccoli on the side (since I have to have something green at every meal… I inherited that from my mom!)

  20. 20
    taba /

    ahhh, dinner for tonight.

  21. 21

    Well, Great minds DO think a like. I just posted a recipe for this last week because I loved it so much! I like the cheese and pasta water in the bottom of the bowl idea. Mine had toasted crack black pepper that I sauteed in olive oil. That was a revelation for me.

  22. 22

    Sometimes simple really is best! What a great standby recipe for any weeknight!

  23. 23

    Why are some of the simplest dishes some of the best! LOVE IT!


  24. 24

    I could die in this plate of pasta and be happy.

  25. 25

    Love the simplicity. I made spaghetti last night too, with broccolini and pine nuts. Divine!

  26. 26

    Simple and Perfect….

  27. 27

    Simple, quick and delicious… what more could you want. Thanks for sharing!

  28. 28

    One of my favorites!

  29. 29

    Yum. A gorgeous spaghetti recipe.

    Well done 🙂

  30. 30

    I make this dish all the time. It’s amazing. I love things when they’re super simple and incredible.

  31. 31

    So simple and so delicious, I heart pasta!

  32. 32

    I love any kind of pasta, especially made into a salad or served very simply. I do have a question. What is Pecorino Cheese? If I don’t find this cheese, is there another that can be used? Also, have you tried this with black olives? Bet it would be good and look good too.

    • 32.1

      Hi Martha! Pecorino Cheese is an Italian cheese made from sheeps milk : ) You can substitute Parmigiano Reggiano if you can’t find it! Hope that helps~!

  33. 33
    Gerald /


  34. 34

    But a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style .


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