Authentic Cacio e Pepe

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Cacio e Pepe is a simple Roman pasta that is easy to make and absolutely delicious. This cheesy pepper pasta is popular for a reason.

We traveled to Rome to find the best recipes for Cacio e Pepe and are now bringing them back to share with the masses. This dish is authentic and the perfect version of black pepper cheese made at home. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, this pasta dish is absolutely delicious!

The translation of Cacio e Pepe literally means cheese and pepper. This pasta dish is so simple, yet packed with rich flavor from pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground pepper. It has a very rich and intense flavor thanks to the Pecorino Romano’s sharp cheese and lots of pepper. Warning: Some people may find this dish spicy.

Cheese Options:

This is a classic Roman dish, so you should use hard cheese from the Rome region of Italy for the most authentic flavor. Pecorino Romano is the traditional choice. If you don’t have Pecorino Romano available, grated Parmesan cheese is an acceptable substitute, but not an authentic choice since it comes from the Parma region of Italy.

Pasta Options:

The traditional choice for Cacio e Pepe pasta is tonnarelli pasta, a thick round long pasta similar to spaghetti or bucatini. Due to their similar shape, they both serve as acceptable substitutes in the absence of tonnarelli.

Top view of cacio e Pepe in a bowl.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through with a little water to prevent sticking.

If you liked this recipe, you might be interested in these other pasta recipes:

watch the video below Rachel will walk you through each step of this recipe. Sometimes the visuals help, and we always let you watch our cooking shows.You can find the complete collection of recipes youtube, facebook watch, or our facebook pageor provide a corresponding recipe on our website.

Cacio e Pepe topped with Parmesan cheese.

Cacio e Pepe is a simple Roman pasta that is easy to make and absolutely delicious. This cheesy pepper pasta is popular for a reason.

Preparation time 5 minute

cooking time 10 minute

total time 15 minute

raw material

  • 1 pound tonnarelli or thick pasta
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese or freshly grated
  • 1 cup pasta water approximate
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper*


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt. Cook your pasta until al dente.

  • (Optional step) Toast peppers in a small skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

  • When done, remove the cooked pasta from the water with tongs and place in a large mixing bowl.

  • Immediately add 1 1/4 cups of pecorino romano cheese, reserving remaining 1/4 cup. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and pepper.

  • Toss quickly with tongs to let the heat of the pasta and water melt the cheese. Add remaining water until a thick, creamy sauce coats the pasta.

  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese while hot.


*How much pepper to add to this recipe is a matter of personal preference It can also vary depending on the strength of your peppercorns. Some people may like up to 2 tablespoons of pepper, while others may only like 1 or 2 teaspoons.
freshly grated cheese Melts better than pre-grated or pre-shredded cheese because it contains no additives. If the cheese melts too quickly, it will clump. Using the finely shredded side of a cheese grater will likely yield the best results.

Calories: 382kcal | carbohydrate: 58G | protein: 18G | fat: 7G | Saturated fat: 4G | cholesterol: 26mg | sodium: 1469mg | Potassium: 216mg | fiber: 2G | sugar: 2G | Vitamin A: 115unit | calcium: 291mg | iron: 1.4mg

Authentic Cocoa and Pepe