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A simple, delicious recipe for Cacio e Pepe - a fast and flavorful- four-ingredient pasta recipe that can be tossed with your favorite seasonal veggie and made in 20 minutes! 

Cacio e Pepe Recipe


A simple, delicious recipe for Cacio e Pepe is so tasty you will want to make it over and over. Serve it with your favorite veggie for an added burst of nutrition.


Units Scale
  • 8 ounces linguini, spaghetti or bucatini (to make fresh pasta see notes below
  • 1/21 teaspoon fresh ground black peppercorns, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano, more for serving
  • Optional: garnish with olive oil, chili flakes or aleppo pepper, parsley or basil.

Optional additions: Veggies (add to pasta water at the end and blanch for a few minutes: broccoli, asparagus, snow peas, English peas, fava beans, edamame, etc.) Or sauteed mushrooms,  or  roasted veggies (like asparagus, butternut or cauliflower)  or grilled veggies.  Or toss in spinach, arugula or kale at the end of cooking. Sometimes,  a little lemon zest is nice too. 😉


  1. Cook Pasta in 8 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt– according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the hot pasta water.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Toast fresh crushed peppercorn, in the dry skillet for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup pasta water, simmer on low for a couple minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix pecorino cheese with 1/2 cup hot pasta water to create a slurry or paste. Set aside.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the “pepper water” in the skillet, over medium-low heat, stirring.  Add more pasta water so it gets it a little saucy if needed. Stir in the pecorino paste, adding more hot pasta water as needed to get a creamy consistency.
  5. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust to taste. Add more pasta water, cheese or pepper if you like. Feel free to fold in cooked veggies, or shrimp, etc (or serve these on top).
  6. To serve, divide, sprinkle each portion with more pecorino, chili flakes, parsley and hearty drizzle of olive oil.


PecorinoIf using straight pecorino– keep in mind it is quite salty, so go lighter on the salt in the pasta water- 1 teaspoon salt per 8 cups of water. Pecorino is saltier than Parmesan, which adds nice depth here. Parmesan is tangier, less salty, so you may need to add.

TIP: Preshredded pecorino may contain caking agents which can prevent the sauce from getting super creamy- check the label!  I like to shred my own in a food processor– up to you. 🙂

Mushrooms: to elevate, add sauteed mushrooms with a hint of truffle oil. Divine!

Broccoli: on busy nights I throw broccoli florets right into the pasta water at the end and cook for just a few minutes, adding both to the skillet.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 3.9 g
  • Sodium: 895.1 mg
  • Fat: 11.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.9 g
  • Fiber: 4.3 g
  • Protein: 11.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 4.9 mg

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