Cacio e Pepe Pasta Sauce

This famous, simple Roman pasta sauce is made with freshly cracked black pepper, aged Pecorino Romano cheese and your pasta cooking water. We suggest splurging a little and using a good Italian-made pasta. Remember to use lots of water to boil it and only salt, not oil in the water. You want your pasta sauce to stick to the noodles, not slide off.


  • 1 lb dried spaghetti noodles
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1¾ cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. In a large pot (6 quarts), bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente (tender by firm). Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain pasta.
  2. Meanwhile heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add pepper, cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle ¾ cup pasta water into skillet; bring to a boil. Using tongs, transfer pasta to a skillet and spread it around evenly. Sprinkle cheese over pasta; toss vigorously to combine until sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta without clumping, adding some more pasta water if necessary. Transfer to 4 plates and garnish with more Pecorino and more pepper.

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Makes 4 servings

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