Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

By Neapolitan Chef Angelo Guida.

Enjoy this traditional recipe on our tour of Lazio or try it at home for a lighter version of Macaroni-and-Cheese using only 3 ingredients!


Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 454 gr (1 lb) spaghetti (we recommend a brand that notes "pasta di gragnano" – or the method of extruding with bronze dies and slowly drying… for a superior texture and sauce pairing!)
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 Tbsp salt (Pecorino Romano is naturally salty, so less additional salt is required)
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO (traditional recipe does not include butter, cream or EVOO but some Roman chefs use EVOO and we like it this way too!) 
  • 120 gr Pecorino Romano (the traditional recipe requires only Pecorino Romano but you can also mix in Parmigiano Reggiano, although the result will not be the same)
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper (or simply adjust to your taste)


  • Bring water to a boil and then add salt (the water should taste slightly salty)
  • Finely grate the Pecorino Romano 
  • Pour EVOO in a flat pan over medium heat and add most of the ground black pepper (leaving the rest to sprinkle on top) for a few minutes and set aside 
  • Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than is suggested on the package. Drain it and set aside (save) a few ladle-fulls of the starchy water from boiling the pasta
  • Sauté the drained pasta in the pan with EVOO over low heat and start to add some of the starchy water (1/4 ladle) to help the ingredients combine smoothly
  • Turn off the heat and while you continue to sauté the pasta, start to sprinkle in a few handfuls of cheese
  • Add more starchy water and let the ingredients combine smoothly while you continue to sprinkle cheese
  • Make sure the sauce remains smooth while sautéing and alternate starchy water (if necessary) and all the remaining cheese (this is the really tricky part because you have to avoid the cheese curdling)
  • Serve on individual plates, sprinkling some of the remaining black pepper on top

Buon appetito!




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