The Creamiest Goof-Proof Cacio e Pepe

This classic creamy, cheesy, Roman pasta dish has just 3 ingredients! Spaghetti, tonarelli, or bucatini pasta, fresh cracked black pepper, and imported Pecorino cheese miraculously combine with pasta cooking water to create an elegant and flavorful dish with a rich, luscious sauce. Sharp, tangy, sheep’s milk Pecorino cheese pairs perfectly with the bite of black pepper to give the simple sauce a delicious edge. If you’ve had trouble getting creamy results in the past this goof-proof version is for you!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 8 oz bucatini pasta
  • 2 ½ cups freshly and finely grated imported Pecorino cheese additional for garnish
  • 1 TB coarse ground black pepper additional for garnish


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place your Pecorino cheese in a tall cup for an immersion blender or in the bowl of a small mini chop. Add 1-2 TB cold water and begin to puree or process, adding 2-3 more TB water and pureeing or processing until you have a smooth creamy paste the thickness of cream cheese. Stir in black pepper.
  • Cook your pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Just before pasta is done cooking, ladle out 1 cup of pasta cooking water into a small bowl. Using tongs, remove the cooked pasta to a large bowl (don’t worry if some water remains on the pasta -you’ll use this as you create your sauce.) Add your Pecorino cheese mixture to the bowl of hot pasta and immediately toss well with tongs to start to combine, slowly drizzle in the reserved pasta cooking water and continue to toss well, until the pasta is fully coated with a creamy sauce. Serve immediately topped with additional grated Pecorino cheese and black pepper.
  • Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as an appetizer - recipe may be doubled but be sure to use a very large bowl to toss your pasta in.
Keyword easy pasta, pecorino romano