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  • Writer's pictureDavid

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

An authentic recipe for a traditional Roman dish. Three ingredients - really tasty!

There are a lot of recipes out there for cacio e pepe - beware! This is the real deal: not only are there only three ingredients: spaghetti, cheese and pepper; but the important thing is how you cook it.

So, apologies to Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo, etc - but THIS is how you make real, authentic, traditional, TASTY spaghetti cacio e pepe



spaghetti - don't use tagliatelle, fettuccine or others: spaghetti handles this sauce beautifully

good whole peppercorns - supermarket peppercorns will do nicely, but the better the pepper...

Pecorino cheese


Watch the video


  • Boil well-salted water and add the spaghetti - you can turn it down a bit - it doesn't have to keep boiling!

  • Set a timer for 8 minutes

  • Grind your peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, or - if you don't have that - put them in a plastic bag and batter them with a rolling pin. Or a light hammer if everything else fails!

  • You do not want to use a grinder: we want the peppercorns to be broken into different sizes - from powder up to cracked whole peppercorns

  • Pop the ground pepper into a dry, hot pan and toast them until you really smell the pepper. You might get a bit of smoke - get ready with the water!

  • Add a couple of ladles of water from the pasta - watch out for the hit of steam and pepper!

  • Stir it though

  • Grate the pecorino cheese into a bowl - I used 175g of cheese for 500g spaghetti

  • Add ladle of pasta water to the bowl and stir the cheese into a thick cream

  • At 8 minutes, transfer the pasta to the pan with the pepper

  • Don't drain the pasta, just tong it across with any water clinging to it. Keep the pasta water in the pot in case you need to add any to the pan

  • Cook the pasta for another 2 minutes in the pan, stirring the pepper water through it, and add more water if necessary

  • Add your bowl of pecorino/water cream and stir it through

  • Plate it up - you're done!

  • Sprinkle some fresh pepper and grated pecorino over the servings

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