Cacio e Pepe

With a name that literally means "cheese and pepper" in Italian, you can't go wrong with this classic pasta dish. It might just be the best 4-ingredient pasta you'll ever make.

white bowl of pasta noodles coated in Parmesan cheese being served by hands holding two spoons
Photo: Blaine Moats
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 pound dried spaghetti, bucatini, or tonnarelli pasta

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon very coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 cup very finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (4 oz.)


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, generously salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 cups pasta water.

  2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet heat oil over medium. Add pepper; cook and stir 20 seconds or until fragrant. Remove skillet from heat; carefully add 3/4 cup of the pasta water. Return skillet to heat. Bring water to boiling.

  3. Add pasta to skillet, tossing with tongs to coat. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, tossing to coat and adding enough of the remaining pasta water to reach a creamy consistency. Season to taste with salt. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and additional pepper.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

434 Calories
15g Fat
57g Carbs
16g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 434
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 857mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 16g
Calcium 219mg 17%
Iron 2.7mg 15%
Potassium 190mg 4%
Folate, total 180.6mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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