Cacio e Pepe


Total Time:

15 minutes



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

The most simple but delicious pasta out there – Cacio e Pepe! Cheesy, Peppery Pasta. You'll be obsessed
5 from 9 votes
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.
Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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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!

  17. Linda R

    5 stars
    Just made this last night. Absolute perfection. Our new go to pasta dish.