Cacio e Pepe


Total Time:

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine

Bring it on team. Cacio e Pepe is on the blog today because it’s my favorite pasta dish of all time AND it’s World Pasta Day so let’s celebrate!

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. 

Cacio e Pepe from (@whatsgabycookin)

Believe it or not, when we went to Italy last year 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 we were in Milan for the Pasta World Championships with Barilla®, 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 and had I been competing in the Pasta World Championship, there is NO doubt in my mind that this is what I would have made! Get into it! xo

Cacio e Pepe from (@whatsgabycookin)

Cacio e Pepe

5 from 7 votes


  • Kosher salt
  • 10 ounces Barilla 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.
Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking / This post is brought to you by Barilla. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for What’s Gaby Cooking**

5 Tips from a Private Chef email series

Get my latest recipes + my bonus 5 Tips From a Private Chef email series

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    YES! My favorite, too. So simple and good! Pass me a big bowl, please!

  2. Laura

    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 🙂

  3. monika

    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!

  4. Jessica B.

    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 : )

  5. Elinore

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

  6. Sautéed Kale with Chiles and Lemon – What's Gaby Cooking

    […] it up alongside any main course like chicken, steak or even pasta! It’s perfect. And if you have leftovers, throw it over some quinoa or rice and put a poached […]

  7. Megan

    I just made this. Simple, easy, and incredibly delicious! Restaurant quality! Thanks Gaby

  8. Caroline

    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!!

  9. Melissa Brooker

    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!

  10. Tanveer N

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

  11. Camilla Hazelwood

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

  12. Meghan Hawes

    5 stars
    Just made this for my Easter dinner alone. It did not disappoint! Thanks Gaby ❤️

  13. Mollie C

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

  14. Abbey

    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!

  15. Meliss

    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.

  16. Mary Jane S.

    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!