How to Cook Authentic Roman “Cacio e Pepe”

One of Rome’s most well-loved classic dishes is based on these three simple ingredients: pasta, cheese, and pepper. In fact, “Cacio e Pepe” literally translates to “Cheese and Pepper”. A variety of recipes can be found on the internet, many including “extras” that take the dish from “classic” to “experimental” – and no Roman would approve! Follow our recipe for a simple, affordable, and authentic dish straight from the heart of The Eternal City!

Pecorino Romano Cheese and uncooked Spaghetti No. 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (500g) Italian Spaghetti or Tonnarelli (500g)
  • ½ lb (250g) Pecorino Romano Cheese, freshly grated (+ extra for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp fresh ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt

Pecorino Romano D.O.P. Cheese and Spaghetti No. 5

Directions:

  1. Add Salt to boiling water and cook Pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, mix Pecorino and Black Pepper together in a bowl
  3. When pasta is done cooking, conserve 1 cup of pasta water. Strain the pasta and then return to pot with ¾ cup of pasta water.
  4. Quickly add the Pecorino and Black Pepper mix and immediately mix energetically with tongs or a pasta fork until it becomes a creamy sauce. If the mixture is too thick, add the remaining ¼ cup of pasta water. Continue stirring until the pasta is evenly covered with the rich, cheesy mixture.
  5. Serve immediately, topping with extra Pecorino and Black Pepper (if desired).

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano D.O.P. mixed with ground black pepper

Tips:

  • The Spaghetti should be “spaghetti grossi” meaning thick (like a No. 5)
  • If you can find Pecorino Romano D.O.P. – use it! This is the real deal. “D.O.P.” stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” or “Protected Designation of Origin”. To put it simply, it means that the product is high quality and was made and packaged locally using traditional methods.

Authentic Roman Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

There you have it!

Your beautiful, super easy, and 100% authentic homemade Italian dinner is served.

Now, pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy!

Buon Appetito!

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