This Easy One-Pot Pasta (Cacio e Pepe) Is The One You’ll Find in Rome

January 14, 2022

This 3 ingredients Cacio e Pepe Pasta is one of the most basic and straightforward pastas available, yet it’s also becoming increasingly popular. Why? Because when it’s done well, it’s fantastic!

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is a pasta dish that originated in Rome’s cuisine. In various central Italian dialects, cacio e pepe means “cheese with pepper.” All of the components last a long time, making the recipe suitable for shepherds who do not have permanent residence. To ensure that the sauce adheres nicely, rough-surfaced pasta is advised.

Cacio e pepe is high in carbs and has a modest quantity of protein. The allure of a dish made with so few ingredients lies in its simplicity, as well as the intensity of flavors and textures it offers. When the cheese is cooked to perfection, it melts into the pasta water and clings to the pasta, creating a creamy sauce.

The black pepper is plentiful and sharp, with an unforgettable, addictive bite that hits like a dopamine shot.

Yield: 6

Authentic Cacio e Pepe Pasta Recipe

Three ingredient Cacio e Pepe Pasta
This simple cacio e pepe pasta recipe is as authentic as it gets. It's the one you'd find in Rome and made with just 3 ingredients.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 8 oz bucatini pasta or tonnarelli or any thick pasta
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground and coarse
  • ¼ cup water, reserved from cooking pasta
  • 1 cup pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated and divided, 3 tbsp for garnish


Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

  1. For every 16 oz (box) of pasta, make sure to use a gallon of water. Cook the pasta according to package directions in the big pot of salted water.
  2. Remove a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water 2 to 3 minutes before the pasta is done, in case the sauce needs to be thinned.

Make the fantastic cheese sauce

  1. In a food processor, combine the cheese, pepper, and cold water and pulse until a silky consistency is achieved. Alternatively, mix rapidly with a fork or a whisk until the sauce is smooth and velvety.
  2. After that, add hot pasta water to smooth it out even more into a creamy sauce.

One layer at a time, fold the sauce into the pasta.

  1. Then, once you've made that amazing cheese sauce, layer it with the noodles in a lasagna-like fashion. One spoon of sauce per dish of pasta. Rinse and repeat as needed.
  2. Then combine everything together and coat evenly. Voila! There will be no more clumpy pasta.

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