This peasant food comes from Roman sheep herders who had little time and money to spend on eating. They used their sheep's cheese and a bit of the water that cooked the pasta to create a cream, then added black pepper to give it some extra flavor. Cheap, easy, and fast: this was perfect for them and for us even today!

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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook bucatini in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes.

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  • Place grated Pecorino Romano cheese into a large glass bowl and mix with a fork to make sure the cheese contains no lumps.

  • Once the bucatini are al dente, lift them out with a spaghetti fork or tongs and put them directly into the bowl with the cheese. Do not allow the water to drain too much.

  • Add one ladle of pasta water to the bowl. Stir the bucatini around until a cream has formed. Add more pasta water, little by little, until a thick cream has formed. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over the pasta. Toss and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

438 calories; 11.9 g total fat; 41 mg cholesterol; 870 mg sodium. 59 g carbohydrates; 22.5 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2020
This is THE true recipe for Cacio e Pepe. No garlic no frozen peas no bacon: just the pasta cheese and pepper. This was a regular Friday evening dish growing up. It is still a favorite because it is delicious and very inexpensive. Thanks for your submission of an authentic Italian recipe. Close your eyes and you're in Rome. Read More
(4)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/29/2020
DO NOT. I repeat; do not add as much pepper to the pasta as the recipe calls for. Or your lips will burn off. Otherwise quite tasty and filling. Read More
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2020
This is THE true recipe for Cacio e Pepe. No garlic no frozen peas no bacon: just the pasta cheese and pepper. This was a regular Friday evening dish growing up. It is still a favorite because it is delicious and very inexpensive. Thanks for your submission of an authentic Italian recipe. Close your eyes and you're in Rome. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2020
This is THE true recipe for Cacio e Pepe. No garlic no frozen peas no bacon: just the pasta cheese and pepper. This was a regular Friday evening dish growing up. It is still a favorite because it is delicious and very inexpensive. Thanks for your submission of an authentic Italian recipe. Close your eyes and you're in Rome. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
10/11/2019
I've made this recipe a dozen or more times and it's so quick and delicious to make! In fact, I just made a little bit for my lunch today using GF spaghetti (can't get GF bucatini pasta). I did have problems getting the technique down the first few times I made it as the cheese was just glumping up on me instead of being more like a cream (still delicious with the little glumps of cheese here and there). After some time and much trial and error I have it down pat to the way it's written. If you find it tricky making this, try adding a little pasta water to bottom of dish first, then add your pasta, and put the finely grated pecorino romano on top and stir with a fork, adding a little more of the pasta water as needed. Delicious and a favorite quick meal in our house to this day! Thank you for the recipe and for all the help you gave us in making this recipe successfully BQ, to Bikerfamily for making this recipe in which we otherwise would not have discovered it before publication, and to DIZ for sharing in our crazy 'must master Cacio e Pepe' adventure! :-) Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2020
Bucatini is such a fun pasta to work with in recipes - I love it. This is a simple dish that has a lot of flavor! Don't leave out the "freshly ground" pepper. It needs to be freshly ground b/c it adds such a nice depth of flavor to the cream sauce. Don't use table pepper or restaurant pepper - "freshly ground" - lol.:-) Trust me it makes a difference. Awesome recipe - thank you for sharing with us! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2020
Thank You BQ!! Thank you thank you thank you for every single bite of this wonderful dish!!!! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
07/27/2019
This is a personal favourite. I learned out to make it when Anthony Bourdain said it was one of his favourites and now I make it all the time because it's easy and everyone likes it. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/02/2019
I made this as a side dish and it was a big hit with my boys. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/04/2020
This was really great! I served it with bruschetta and it was a hit. Be sure to use quality ingredients since it's such a simple recipe. I did have problems with clumpy cheese despite the cheese being very finely ground with a food processor, but the sauce was lovely. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/29/2020
DO NOT. I repeat; do not add as much pepper to the pasta as the recipe calls for. Or your lips will burn off. Otherwise quite tasty and filling. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/30/2020
Excellent! Very easy to make! Read More