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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

This is the dish that brought Brad to tears (literally) on our first night in Rome. Imagine my excitement when I found a chunk of "Cacio da Roma" at my Bristol Farms (I went in for the duck and came out with three cheeses too...)

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma "ROME" recipes by Maureen B. Fant

2 t. freshly ground black peppercorns
6 oz. grated cacio or pecorino

Boil pasta in salted water. Ladle one ladleful of pasta water and one T. of olive oil into a large, deep skillet. Add a handful of cheese and whisk vigorously. When pasta is done, using a pasta fork, or handheld colander directly from the water to the skillet (reserve some water). Place pan over low heat and gradually add remaining cheese, crushed pepper, and spoonfuls of the pasta water as needed to make a creamy sauce. Toss to coat the pasta thoroughly, stirring and tossing for about 3 minutes. Serve at once in warmed bowls.


Comments (9)


This is my absolute favorite Roman comfort food, and always my first meal in Rome after a long flight. Yours looks so yummy, I could almost eat my computer screen. :-)



Palma, that looks fantastic! And I like this recipe. I love Cacio e Pepe but I can never get it quite right. However, my recipe just involves draining the pasta, reserving about a half-cup of the water, then dumping it and the cheese on top of the hot pasta.

Your version, making the sauce in a separate skillet before adding to the pasta, sounds much better.

Maureen's recipe actually calls for pecorino (I'm guessing a semi-stagione). I've also tried it before, and the cheese didn't melt right with the pasta water. THIS version was great. Brad wanted more!

It is still better in Rome...the ambience!

Denise Curtis:

Hi Palma,

A little off topic, sorry. On the news was a story about the Madera County Fair, which starts next week. Their theme is, "Gettin' figgy with it." They are holding a contest featuring fig recipes. You should come up and enter some of your favorites. I'm sure you would win!


Shelagh (SJ):

We always make spaghetti Alio e Olio e Peperoncino for comfort food!
(With pecorino on top.)
It too tastes different every time I make it; and never the same as in Italy!

Thanks, Denise! That sounds like fun!

Barb Cabot:

Just the sound of "cacio e pepe" and the photo take me back to such good memories of Rome. Thank you for the recipe. Looks so wonderful I can almost taste it.


Thanks for sharing this recipe. This is a favorite of mine & I can never get it right. The sauce is always clumpy!

I've always wondered how this was made. Yours looks delicious!

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