Cacio e Pepe

One of the most amazing things about Italian food is how simple, yet delicious it is. This classic pasta is easy to make in large batches to serve family style. The key to a memorable Cacio e Pepe is quality pasta and cheese.
Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Difficulty Easy





  • for pasta water Salt
  • ¾ lb Spaghetti pasta
  • 1 ½ cups Pasta water, reserved


  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 ½ cups Grana Padano cheese, grated
  • cup Pecorino cheese, grated
  • for garnish Grana Padano cheese, grated


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until a few minutes before al dente. Drain, reserving 1½ cups pasta water.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add black pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add spaghetti and butter.
  • Reduce heat to low and add Grana Padano cheese, tossing until melted.
  • Remove pan from heat. Add Pecorino, stirring until cheese melts and sauce coats the spaghetti. The pasta should be al dente.
  • Serve pasta with additional Grana Padano cheese.


  • Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry
  • You can use only Grana Padano cheese if you wish
  • You can substitute Parmesan cheese for Grana Padano 
  • Use any long pasta noodle you wish