Top | Main Dishes

Cacio e pepe

(recipe, Katie Hickey)


Easily my favorite pasta dish. We got this recipe from the "Roman dishes" feature in an issue of Saveur magazine.


  1. Kosher salt, to taste
  2. 1 lb. pasta, preferably tonnarelli or spaghetti
  3. 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper, plus more
  5. to taste
  6. 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
  7. ¾ cup finely grated Cacio de Roma


  1. 1. Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente, 8–10 minutes; reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain pasta. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add pepper; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Ladle ¾ cup pasta water into skillet; bring to a boil. Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet; spread it evenly. Sprinkle ¾ cup each Pecorino Romano and Cacio de Roma over pasta; toss vigorously to combine until sauce is creamy and clings to the pasta without clumping, about 2 minutes, adding some pasta water if necessary. Transfer to 4 plates and sprinkle with remaining Pecorino and more pepper.
  2. Pairing Note A medium-bodied sangiovese, like the 2005 Brancaia Tre Toscana ($21), will complement this dish's peppery notes. — David Rosengarten