Cacio e Pepe


Cacio e pepe is the original mac and cheese. This simple recipe, originating in Rome uses four main ingredients but there are a few techniques to make it simply spectacular. The pasta should be completely smothered in cheese and given an extra kick with pepper, so watch my video to make it just perfect every single time.

Watch Cacio e Pepe Video Recipe:


Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Vincenzo’s Top Tips

The perfect sign

Firstly, the water should become a little bit white, which is a perfect sign! This is the starch and will help the pepper (and cheese) to stick to your pasta!

Good to GREAT!

The secret to taking your recipe from good to GREAT! Put the fry pan on your stove at a medium heat and sprinkle a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper in it. Leave the pepper to lightly toast!

The PERFECT Cheese sauce

There shouldn’t be any stringy or thick pieces of cheese in your pasta. So it it’s very important to help the cheese melt and dissolve into the water

How to serve Cacio e Pepe

Immediately! This dish must be eaten as quickly as possible with a final sprinkle of cracked pepper and of course pecorino cheese.

cacio e pepe recipe

Cacio e Pepe

Vincenzo's Plate
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 Medium sized deep bowl
  • fork
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large pot (for boiling pasta)
  • Medium size fry pan


  • 300 grams Spaghettoni 10.5oz Thick spaghetti
  • 200 grams Pecorino Romano - 2 US cups. Grated
  • Pepper
  • Rock Salt
  • 3 L Water 12.8cups


  • This cacio e pepe recipe starts with boiling the water on the stove in a large pot.
  • When the water comes to boil, add rock salt and let it dissolve.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water, keeping an eye on the time and cooking the pasta 2-3 minutes less than the desired cooking time.
  • Next, is the secret to taking your cacio e pepe recip from good to GREAT! Put the fry pan on your stove at a medium heat and sprinkle a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper in it.
  • Leave the pepper to lightly toast for a few minutes and grate at least 300g of pecorino cheese into a bowl.
  • Once the pepper has been toasting for a few minutes, use a ladle and scoop out some pasta water, pouring it into the pan where it should bubble up
  • Now, add half a ladle of water to your bowl and mix it together using a fork or a spatula to create a thick paste.
  • Don’t add too much or it will become runny (If it does, add extra grated pecorino cheese to thicken it up again).
  • Once the pasta has approx. 3 minutes left to cook, using a set of long tongs, get the pasta out and add it to your fry pan.
  • Mix this together really well and add a cup full of pasta water too.
  • If you notice the water drying up, add some more along with more pepper and keep mixing.
  • After mixing this through for 2 minutes, turn the heat off, and add the cheesy paste for the cacio e pepe recipe to the pan.
  • Now it’s very important to help the cheese melt and dissolve into the water. For the perfect cacio e pepe, there shouldn’t be any stringy or thick pieces of cheese in your pasta.
  • Combine all of this for at least another minute or until all of your cheese is dissolved and then toss your pan up even gently if you find it hard because it will help to stop the cheese from over cooking and also lather all the strands of pasta even more.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’sPlate….Enjoy!


Keyword easy italian pasta recipes, Homemade Pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate… Enjoy!


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9 Responses to Cacio e Pepe

  1. David June 11, 2022 at 1:00 PM #

    Big fan of the channel. Tip—this recipe seems like it has too many steps for such a simple dish. However, the details MATTER. If you skip or alter anything, it does not turn our right. Read carefully and enjoy the beautiful cream.

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 21, 2023 at 3:07 PM #

      We appreciate your attention to detail and agree that it’s important to follow the recipe carefully for the best results. We hope you enjoy making this dish and thank you for your support!

  2. Kyle P September 21, 2022 at 7:46 AM #

    I discovered your YouTube channel from Uncle Roger, and I love it. I had never heard of cacio e pepe until your video. This recipe is fun, simple, and delicious. Thank you!

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 3, 2023 at 5:56 PM #

      I’m always thrilled to introduce people to new dishes and flavors, and I appreciate you taking the time to watch my videos. Thank you for your support!

  3. AlexAlex December 18, 2022 at 5:38 AM #

    5 stars
    Did this recipe along with nonna’s fresh egg pasta recipe. An absolute marvel. Thank you very much. Alex

  4. Willem July 5, 2023 at 8:40 PM #

    Goodday sir,

    I made this dish yesterday and messed it up completely. I used waaaay too much pepper.

    What would you say is an adequate amount of pepper per 100 grams of pasta?

    • Vincenzo's Plate July 8, 2023 at 6:30 PM #

      it’s generally recommended to start with around 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper per 100 grams of pasta. This amount provides a good balance of flavors without overpowering the dish.

  5. Johannes August 8, 2023 at 6:04 AM #

    I’ve done everything you did in the video, but for some reasons, I can’t get the cheese to properly dissolve and end with bits of melted cheese. Why? Other than that you are an inspiration to get me to cook

    • Vincenzo's Plate August 15, 2023 at 4:10 AM #

      There are a few reasons why the cheese might not have melted properly in your cacio e pepe. Here are a few things to check:

      1. Are you using freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese?
      2. Are you stirring the cheese constantly?
      3. Are you using enough pasta water?

      Cacio e Pepe is a little bit challenging to make especially when you emulsify the cheese with the pasta water. But practice makes perfect, continue to learn and i’m sure you’ll master it in no time.

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