Cacio e pepe

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Cacio e pepe
A plate of cacio e pepe
CoursePrimo (Italian pasta course); main course
Place of originItaly
Region or stateLazio
Main ingredientsPasta, pecorino romano, black pepper

Cacio e pepe (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkaːtʃo e pˈpeːpe]) is a pasta dish from the cuisine of the city of Rome.[1] Cacio e pepe means "cheese and pepper" in several central Italian dialects. In keeping with its name, the dish contains grated pecorino romano cheese and black pepper, together with spaghetti,[1] or traditionally tonnarelli.[2] All the ingredients keep well for a long time, which made the dish practical for shepherds without fixed abode. Rough-surfaced pasta is recommended, to make the sauce adhere well.


The pasta is prepared in boiling salted water as usual; it is then poured into the grated pecorino mixed with black pepper, with a little of the hot, starchy, cooking water. The heat melts the cheese, and the starches in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta.[3]


While not traditional to cacio e pepe, seafood or bacon may be added, and other shapes of pasta such as rigatoni, always made with a rough surface, may be used.[3] Pecorino romano cheese is also sometimes substituted with Parmesan cheese.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boni (1930), p. 46
  2. ^ "Pasta cacio e pepe". Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe Ricetta Originale Romana" [Spaghetti cacio e pepe – the original Roman recipe]. The Foodellers (in Italian). Retrieved 17 October 2019. There is an English translation, but it lacks important tips on getting this deceptively simple dish right. Google Translate works well.


  • Boni, Ada (1983) [1930]. La Cucina Romana (in Italian). Roma: Newton Compton Editori. ISBN 978-8854117815.