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Fast, Easy, Five-Ingredient Recipe For Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Rome's Cosmopolitan Version of Mac and Cheese

I like to think of cacio e pepe (Italian for "cheese and pepper") as Rome's cosmopolitan version of mac and cheese. It's a simple recipe that requires nothing more than spaghetti, cheese, butter, and seasonings. It's ready in a matter of minutes and always gone even faster than that. For this reason, cacio e pepe is one of the most valued dishes in my weeknight recipe arsenal. Want a plate of this now? Then check out the recipe.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Cacio e Pepe Pasta


1 pound dried spaghetti
2 cups pecorino romano cheese, finely grated, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Return pasta and cooking water to the pot, and place over low heat. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until cheese and butter have melted and formed a creamy sauce, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste, and serve immediately with additional cheese.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
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decafmochanf decafmochanf 4 years
This was SO delicious and easy! I enjoyed every bite... simple but wonderful!
lekatvt lekatvt 5 years
My fiance is a picky eater and I always have to eat spaghetti with red sauce. I think I could get him to eat this recipe.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 5 years
Well I just made some tomato vodka sauce with my beefsteaks :drool:; so this will be made in a few days!
nancita nancita 6 years
One of my favorite pasta dishes! Also, aglio e olio, just as simple and delicious.
lizlee89 lizlee89 6 years
"a cook," I was going to say the same thing - I have been making an almost identical recipe for years! it's pretty much the same except that I use chicken bouillon instead of cheese. here's a basic recipe: - whatever pasta you like - butter, to taste - about 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon, to taste - garlic, to taste (I like a lot) - pepper, to taste - anything else you like it's super delicious, and a recipe of my momma's which even makes it better...
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