Cacio e Pepe

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Bring it on team. Cacio e Pepe is on the blog today because it’s my favorite pasta dish of all times!

Cacio e Pepe from (@whatsgabycookin)

I know I say that a lot. So and so is my favorite… but let me tell you. I order Cacio e Pepe at every single restaurant, at any given moment, no matter the time of day, or country we are in, the answer is always Cacio e Pepe. It’s the most simple dish in the whole wide world, but it requires a little precision and some great ingredients. 

Believe it or not, when we went to Italy 3 years ago for my birthday I had only had Cacio e Pepe one time. That number quickly multiplied as we were in Italy for two full weeks and not a day went by without Cacio e Pepe in our lunch or dinner order. No shame in my game.  While I was in Milan most recently for work, you can bet that I sought out the most epic Cacio e Pepe there was to find. It’s my everything. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the dish, it’s spaghetti based with a peppery parmesan sauce that just coats every piece of spaghetti so perfectly. Each bite is absolute perfection! Get into it! xo

Cacio e Pepe from (@whatsgabycookin)

Cacio e Pepe

5 from 17 votes
The most simple but delicious pasta out there – Cacio e Pepe! Cheesy, Peppery Pasta. You'll be obsessed
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • Kosher salt
  • 10 ounces spaghetti  
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, and reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cracked black pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the spaghetti and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Serve immediately.


Get in the habit of scooping out pasta water every single time! No matter what type of sauce you are making this is the best way to finish it.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Calcium: 276mg | Iron: 1mg
Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking


  1. I’m so glad that you highlighted this dish. It is one of my favorites, one of the easiest to make and I feel like its simplicity may cause some to underestimate the flavor but it really allows the few ingredients to shine. Clearly I’m a devoted fan… it feels appropriate to gush about my favorite on World Pasta Day 🙂

  2. Just about everyday is pasta day in my book. I think I should live in Italy, but seeing as I can’t do that, I will have to satisfy my cravings with your recipes!

  3. Oh my! Not a huge fan of pepper but I trust your recipes so much that I tried it tonight. So yummy. So good! Maybe I need to cook down my pepper more often : )

  4. I made my husband cook me this on the weekend, I usually do all the cooking but wanted a break! It was so good!!

  5. What protein would you recommend serving on the side of this! My husband is a meat at every meal guy, so we wanted your suggestion. Thanks!!

  6. I’ve made made many different variations of cacio e Pepe and all were good but this one really hit the mark!! Finally the cheese didn’t all clump together! I love it! Thanks Gaby!

  7. 5 stars
    Definitely the easiest and most delicious Cacio e Pepe recipe I have tried. Thank you for another winner, Gaby!

  8. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious. Great pepper flavor but cheesy and comforting at the same time. So easy!

  9. 5 stars
    I mean does it get better than this?! So easy yet incredibly decadent. Will make again and again!!

  10. Such a great quarantine recipe. I had all ingredients on hand and it all came together very quick. I didn’t know if this dish would be “too peppery” but it was so delicious! I swear I can’t really cook, but can always make Gaby’s recipes because they’re easy but always flavorful!

  11. Just made this, roasted shallot and baby tomatoes and broccoli as a side/toppper…delicous! The butter is key in that final step to keep the cheese from clumping.

  12. 5 stars
    This is the girl who grew up always wanting plain pasta with butter and parm. Hold the sauce. As an adult I tolerate a good sauce but leave a few bare strands to enjoy at the end with just the butter and cheese. In the late 60s we were camping in Italy and I remember getting the plain spaghetti with butter and parm for 200 lire every day for lunch. Anyway…what took me so long to try Cacio e Pepe??? It’s the grown up version of my childhood dream ❤️ Thank you very much for showing me the light. This recipe is incredibly foolproof and delicious!

  13. 5 stars
    This is my favorite pasta dish as well. It couldn’t get more simple than this recipe especially when looking for something to throw together at the last minute. Keeping dried pasta in the pantry is a given. Always a staple at my house. But I have started keeping grated Parmesan and Pecorino in my freezer so I’m never out of the ingredients for this recipe. Yummy

  14. 5 stars
    By far the best pasta recipe I have come across! So simple yet so flavorful. I have a hard time with pasta that is saturated with sauces but this one is just perfect. Thank you! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

  15. 5 stars
    This was delicious— I loved the cracked black pepper taste (and of course all the cheese)! However, my cheese seemed to get a little clumpy on the tongs and in the pasta. Do you have any idea what might’ve caused this?

  16. Gaby, question.
    I think I know the answer. I’m a Type 1 Diabetic and if I eat Pasta I try to use something other then regular semolina pasta. Do you think this will taste as yummy with a Whole Wheat Spaghetti? I’m thinking not. More fiber equals a little less Insulin needed for the meal. I want to make this but also want it to be delicious. Thank you!

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