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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Giada's Cacio E Pepe

This classic pasta from Rome couldn't be easier to throw together. It translates to "cheese and pepper," which is all you need other than pasta and butter! The secret to the silky, creamy sauce is pasta water - so make sure you have a lot available.

You can use all Pecorino, all Parmesan, or a blend of the two as I have written in this recipe. Refer to this page for more tips on how to master the dish!

Giada's Cacio E Pepe

Giada's Cacio E Pepe


dinner Main Course Side Dish

Prep Time

5 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Giada's Cacio E Pepe


  • 1 pound pasta, such as Nodi Marini
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for finishing, if desired)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (plus more for finishing, if desired)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta for 8 minutes (or just 2 minutes under the suggested cooking time). Drain well, reserving at least 1½ cups of pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large straight sided skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Cook stirring with a spoon under the butter has melted. Add the pepper and toast, stirring often, until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan and stir until combined.
  3. Add the pasta to the pan, and turn off the heat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and Pecorino cheese. Add another 1/2 cup pasta water and stir to coat all of the pasta in the cheese. Stir to combine to create a light creamy sauce. Add additional pasta water as needed to maintain the light sauce consistency. Serve with more grated cheese if desired.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
85 grams
15 grams
2 grams
Saturated Fat
1 grams
7 milligrams
4 grams
3 grams
Unsaturated Fat
2 grams
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1 comment

  • Author's avatar image
    Matthew Murphy

    This is a great & tasty beginner recipe. Even my parents liked it. My dad, who is not a big pasta or cheese eater said he’d have it again. And my mom kept taking more after she had finished. :)

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