The Best Cacio e Pepe Recipe – What did you call me??

19 May

Authentic Roman Cacio e Pepe recipe – Catch the Fever!
Recipe by

Another signature dish of Rome along with Bucatini all’Amatriciana and Pasta alla Carbonara, is Cacio e Pepe. This simple pasta from the Italian capital combines very few ingredients to create a deliciousness that explodes in your mouth. Pronouncing Cacio e Pepe correctly is sometimes a challenge for those not familiar with the recipe. “Cacio” is another word for cheese in the region of Lazio near central Italy, while “Pepe” translates to (black) pepper though could be misunderstood for the shortened name of Giuseppe = Peppe (also changed to Beppe). So it’s not uncommon to order your Cacio e Pepe out loud and have several people turnaround and say “che voi?” (what do you want?). I actually made that part up, but the way to pronounce “Cacio” sounds like “catch” but is actually “Kah-chio” for those taking notes at home. The recipe only requires Pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, pasta and pasta water (you can add olive oil as well) and will take you little time to prepare so come on, let’s get started!Classic Roman dish cacio e pepe with rigatoni, pepper, Pecorino Romano recipe from Paggi Pazzo

There’s little prep time for the Cacio e Pepe recipe with only grating your Pecorino Romano prior to boiling the pasta water. Now you can substitute the Pecorino Romano for Reggiano Parmigiano but I would not as the Pecorino Romano provides a sharpness necessary for the dish to work. When the pasta water has boiled add your pasta and in Rome long pasta is most commonly associated with Cacio e Pepe but for this recipe I used rigatoni. Once the pasta has cooked and is al dente, add some of the pasta water into a bowl aside (I would put aside more pasta water if I was cooking with longer thin pasta like spaghetti than I would for short pasta). Then drain the pasta and combine all the ingredients of Pecorino Romano, black pepper, and the pasta water and stir until the light sauce hangs onto to the pasta. I also use a few tablespoons of oilve oil to give it a little extra flavor. That’s all that is required to make this tasty pasta and for a wine, I like to go red and enjoy the Lazio region favorite of Cesanese, a common table wine in Rome. There you have it, Cacio e Pepe recipe from Paggi Pazzo, “hey Peppe – pasta is served!”
Cesanese Wine from Lazio, perfect for all Roman recipes

Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Prep time: 2 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 17 min
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 pound rigatoni (Barilla)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pasta water
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil pasta water then add rigatoni
  2. Take ladle of pasta water and add to a separate bowl
  3. Once pasta is al dente, drain water and add rigatoni to separate bowl of pasta water then add black pepper, grated Pecorino Romano, olive oil, then stir to mix pasta well
  4. Ready to serve

Authentic Roman Cacio e Pepe recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 4 ratings

Click here for full Cacio e Pepe Recipe and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

2 Responses to “The Best Cacio e Pepe Recipe – What did you call me??”

  1. Peter DiClemente May 19, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    He’s back!! Lets start cooking!

    • Paggi Pazzo May 22, 2018 at 7:56 pm #

      Pizza oven has your name written all over it my friend! 🙂

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