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Cheese and Pepper Pasta (Cacio e Pepe) for Two

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One of the many pasta dishes I learned to cook in Italy, Cacio e Pepe or Cheese and Pepper pasta is a favorite. The simplicity of this recipe makes it a perfect last minute dinner.   Keep the ingredients in your fridge and you’ll always have a quick meal at the ready. 

Pecorino Romano is made from sheeps milk and saltier and tangy than parmesan, whereas Parmesan is made from cows milk and has nutty flavor and is a milder cheese.  These two cheese’s compliment each other nicely.

I prefer to use Tagliatelle pasta , however you can also use a Fettucini.  Both are flat pasta’s with fetuccini being just a bit thicker.  Always use a quality pasta, my personal favorite is DeCecco.

It’s important to finely grate the Pecorino Romano and use very hot water for a smooth sauce.  Also use a coarse fresh ground pepper to add flavor and texture.

For  a flawless Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper), you need to work fast.  Don’t let the water cool before melting the cheese otherwise the sauce will clump. 


Cheese and Pepper Pasta (Cacio e Pepe)

Cheese and Pepper Pasta (Cacio e Pepe)

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A basic butter and pepper pasta dish.


  • 1/2 box dried Tagliatelle
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water
  2. In a skillet over a low heat melt the butter.
  3. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
  4. Add the pepper, Parmesan, Pecorino Romano cheese and toss to coat the pasta, then add the pasta water slowly and stir until you have a creamy texture.

Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 404Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 88mgSodium: 1115mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 16g
The nutritional information provided here are estimates and are not calculated by a registered dietitian.

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