Cacio e Pepe {Cheese & Pepper Pasta}

Cacio e Pepe Recipe – literally cheese and pepper. It only has 4 simple ingredients. I would bet that most of you have all the ingredients in your pantry right now! This only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. It is a great side dish for a weeknight meal. It is so good that I could make a meal out of it!

bowl of cheese and pepper pasta

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What is Cacio e Pepe Mac & Cheese?

New favorite alert! We absolutely LOVE this simple pasta side dish. This was the first thing we ate on our trip to Italy and it was SO good! Cacio e Pepe is literally cheese and pepper. It only has 4 simple ingredients. I would bet that most of you have all the ingredients in your pantry right now! 

This dish is traditionally made with spaghetti, cheese, and loads of fresh black pepper. This pasta gets its creaminess from some starchy pasta water. It is super simple and incredibly delicious!

How to Make Cacio e Pepe

This only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Start with boiling some pasta. Save the pasta water. In a skillet, melt some butter. Add pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add some reserved pasta water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Next, add cooked the pasta and more butter. Reduce heat to low and Parmesan, tossing with tongs until melted. Remove the pan from heat; add more Parmesan and toss. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to bowls and serve.

  • You can use any pasta you prefer. I recommend spaghetti or bucatini.
  • You can use Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. Either are delicious!
  • While not traditional, feel free to add prosciutto, broccoli, asparagus, or cooked chicken to the pasta.
  • Add as much or as little fresh black pepper to the pasta as you prefer. Sometimes I sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top too.
  • This pasta is best served immediately after making.
bowl of cheese and pepper pasta

What to Serve with Cheese & Pepper Pasta

This pasta is a great side dish for a weeknight meal. We love to eat it with pizza, grilled chicken, steak, or pork. We’ve made this several times and it is always delicious! Give this a try you need a quick and easy side! I promise you’ll love it!

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bowl of cheese and pepper pasta

Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Yield: 2 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Cacio e Pepe Recipe – literally cheese and pepper. It only has 4 simple ingredients. I would bet that most of you have all the ingredients in your pantry right now! This only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. It is a great side dish for a weeknight meal. It is so good that I could make a meal out of it!

Ingredients:

  • 6- oz thin spaghetti pasta
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter cubed, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  • In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and remaining butter.
  • Reduce heat to low and add 3/4 cup Parmesan, tossing with tongs until melted.
  • Remove pan from heat; add remaining Parmesan and toss. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to bowls and serve.

Notes:

  • You can use any pasta you prefer. I recommend spaghetti or bucatini.
  • You can use Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. Either are delicious!
  • While not traditional, feel free to add prosciutto, broccoli, asparagus, or cooked chicken to the pasta.
  • Add as much or as little fresh black pepper to the pasta as you prefer. Sometimes I sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top too.
  • This pasta is best served immediately after making.
  •  

Steph

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Comments

  1. Hi Steph,
    Sounds good but recipe doesn't indicate how much of the butter to melt before adding pepper. Please clarify. Thanks!

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