Say Cheese! How to make authentic Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Cacio e Pepe, humble yet elegant, creamy but flavorful, is a favorite pasta dish for Italians who are looking for comfort food. Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Italian dish that can be prepared in a few simple steps. You can make a delicious meal that tastes as good as the one you get in a restaurant by following a few easy steps. We’d even bet it’s better!

This classic recipe makes use of only a few basic ingredients from your kitchen. Cacio e Pepe has a reputation for being creamy. This is why people mistakenly believe that it needs butter or cream to achieve the desired consistency. Olive oil is not necessary. You don’t even need to use olive oil for a gorgeous Cacio e Pepe. All you need is pasta, cheese, (preferably pecorino romano), and the right method. This comforting, easy-to-make pasta dish is a staple in Italian cuisine.

PSST! PSST! Take a look at our Pasta Making Classes in Rome or Florence, where you will learn tips and tricks from an experienced chef!

Be humble in your beginnings

Cacio e Pepe, a humble pasta dish that dates back to Ancient Rome is one of the oldest in Italy. Pecorino romano was once a part of the supplied rations of Roman Legionaries for longer journeys. The practice was adopted by shepherds who carried it with them on long trips to the mountains to look after their flock. They needed a quick and easy meal that was filling, so they started taking tonnarelli pasta with them. The classic cacio e pappe was born.

Making tonnarelli cacio e pepe with Simona

Pasta perfect! Our classic cacio e pepe recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (or 100g) pecorino romano
  • 1 1/2 cups (or 200g), flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Fresh black pepper

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Place the flour on a flat surface such as a marble or chopping board. If you prefer a more controlled environment, you can also use a bowl to do this.
  • Mix the flour with two eggs. Form a dough that is firm, but malleable. After kneading for about two minutes, make sure that the flour and eggs are well combined. Then place the dough in a refrigerator
  • Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes, then sprinkle some flour on your surface. Then, roll the dough evenly with a rolling board. You will need to roll the dough until you have enough material to fold it over.
  • Once you have folded it once, roll it again to a large rectangle. Then fold the dough over itself until it forms an ‘S’ shape. This process will take approximately 3-4 times, depending on the thickness of your dough after rolling.
  • To make spaghetti-shaped strands, cut the dough vertically.
  • Next, add the pasta to a saucepan and cook for 3 minutes or until it is al dente.
  • Grate the pecorino, and then add it to a separate frying pan with some grated chili pepper. Half a cup of the pasta water to the pan. Heat on low heat. Use the pasta water to make the sauce.
  • Combine the cheese and water until it becomes creamy. You can add more pasta water if it becomes too thick. You want it to be silky smooth so you might need to use some elbow grease.
  • Add the pasta to the saucepan. Stir until it is coated with the cheese sauce.
  • Once the pasta has been mixed, it is ready for you to serve. For a filling and fresh meal, add some tossed greens to the mix!