The recipe of spaghetti cacio e pepe, together with the one of pasta alla carbonara, is one of the traditional specialties of Roman cooking.

The recipe of cacio e pepe is traditional and ancient and as such its real origin is unknown.


The Origins

It is almost certain that the recipe for cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) was born as a poor dish of shepherds who migrated from one area to another and brought with them simple provisions to cook; these provisions were pasta, pecorino cheese and black pepper which could be kept for long periods without deteriorating.

The luckiest ones added to these three basic ingredients also guanciale (bacon), giving life to the very first pasta alla gricia.

A truly simple recipe but which, because of its simplicity, can easily be ruined.



Taking Care of the Ingredients to Prepare an Original Roman Cacio E Pepe

To prepare it, two ingredients are used: black pepper and pecorino romano.

Many people say Sardinian pecorino is used, but the traditional recipe, the one used by Ada Boni for example and which is recognized as the best one ever (leaving aside modern variants such as the one by Arcangelo Dandini for example), requires the use of Roman pecorino which can also be produced in Sardinia but is not Sardinian pecorino from which it differs in flavor and characteristics.

Black pepper must be of excellent quality, because it is one of the ingredients that will have more weight in giving taste to the pasta. I suggest you to choose one in grains to be ground at the moment: the one already ground, in fact, tends to lose its original taste if it remains for a long time in the same package and therefore could alter the taste of cacio e pepe pasta.


Cacio e pepe has become one of the most loved pastas in the world and in particular in the United States (the New York Times continues to dedicate to this pasta several spaces periodically) where it is now common to find it in the menus of various Italian restaurants, even though very often with unrequested and improbable variations from the original.





Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes




  • 400 grams (14 oz) of spaghetti
  • 200 grams (1 cup) of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 cup of peppered goat’s cheese
  • 10  grams (2.25 tsp) of ground black pepper
  • Salt



Grate the cheese into a bowl and add the extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, and two spoonfuls of water.

Cook the pasta and then drain.

Pour the cheese mixture into a pan.

Mix the spaghetti into the mixture away from the heat until you reach just the right density and creaminess.

Garnish with a dusting of black pepper and serve.


Buon appetito!



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