Classic Cacio E Pepe

How can something so simple be so good?? I mean, this dish has 5 ingredients! FIVE! We all liked this, even my 6 year old. Husband commented several times how good this was. This recipe is a keeper!

rating: 9.7

Classic Cacio E Pepe

serves 4
time needed: 25 min.


Kosher salt
12 ounces bucatini or linguine
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pecorino romano cheese, finely grated


Bring 2 1/2 quarts water (about 10 cups) to a boil in a large deep skillet. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta and cook until just al dente (1 to 2 minutes less than the label directs).

Meanwhile, put the peppercorns in a small resealable plastic bag and coarsely crush with the flat side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a skillet. Place the crushed peppercorns in a fine-mesh sieve and discard any dust that falls through. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed peppercorns and cook until sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl.

Using tongs, remove the pasta from the boiling water and transfer to the bowl with the peppercorn oil along with 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. (Reserve the remaining cooking water in the skillet.) Toss the pasta until coated. Let cool slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. (If the pasta is too hot, the cheese will clump and not melt.)

Add the cheese to the bowl with the pasta in three batches, tossing well and adding a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water with each addition; make sure most of the cheese is melted before adding more. Continue adding the cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the pasta is coated in a thick creamy sauce.


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