Quick Cacio e Pepe

For this cacio e pepe recipe, pasta is tossed with butter, olive oil, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses, all dusted with lots of black pepper.

A tangle of cacio e pepe noodles in a white bowl.

The lovely Amanda Hesser has said that the cook–that’s you–will likely be tempted to add more cheese, butter, and oil to this recipe. Well, damn it: Resist the impulse. According to Amanda, there should be just enough butter and oil to coat the pasta like a salad dressing. The cheese should be considered a seasoning on top. Too much oil and butter, the pasta will sit in an oil slick. Too much cheese and it’ll make it loathsomely clumpy. When done right, it’s an elegant dish with compact flavor.  Originally published August 18, 2003.Amanda Hesser

Quick Cacio e Pepe

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 2 to 4
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Cooking for Mr. Latte cookbook

Want it? Click it.


Email Grocery List

Ingredients sent!

Send Grocery List

Email the grocery list for this recipe to:

Is required
Sign me up for your or newsletter, too!
Is required


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Toss in several tablespoons of salt.

Meanwhile, mix both cheeses together in a small bowl. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook it for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Near the end of cooking, scoop out about 1/2 cup of cooking water and set it aside.

Drain the pasta in a colander and dump it back on the pot. Drop in the butter, oil and 1/2 tablespoon pepper and stir with tongs or a large fork, lifting and folding the pasta together. Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the pot and place it over medium-high heat. Cook for a minute, stirring to emulsify the sauce. Test a noodle to see if it’s done. It should still be a bit firm in the center, though not as stiff as licorice. Remove from the heat and sprinkle half the cheese over the pasta. Blend once more, then divide the pasta among four warm bowls. Pass the rest of the cheese and pepper at the table.

Print RecipeBuy the Cooking for Mr. Latte cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    Recipe Testers Reviews

    This cheese-and-black-pepper pasta is now the little black dress of my repertoire. It’s not something I’m going to make everyday, but when I do make it, it’s going to be for something special. Or for when I’m home alone and want something simple and delicious. Or maybe for when the girls and I need something quick before we head out. I guess what I’m trying to say is I love this and will find every excuse in the book to make it, maybe even while I’m wearing a little black dress.

    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Back to Quick Cacio e Pepe on Leite's Culinaria