The Best Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti or bucatini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ cup starchy water (secret ingredient!), save some water when you cook the pasta & set it aside
  1. In a hot sauté pan, toast your black pepper.
  2. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil & add the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, add a ladle of water from the pasta to the pan with toasted black pepper.
  3. minutes before the pasta is al dente, add the pasta to the sauté pan & start stirring to have the pasta release the starches. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the starchy water & keep stirring until the temperature of the pasta goes down a little bit.
  5. Add the cheese when the temperature goes down a little to the saute pan. (Note: If you add the cheese when the pasta is super hot, we will a mozzarella pulling effect & you don’t want that with Cacio e Pepe.)
  6. Keep stirring while adding the cheese until it becomes creamy. Plate the pasta & add more black pepper plus more pecorino. Serve & enjoy!
saute pan
medium pot
measuring cup
Recipe by Public Lives, Secret Recipes at