Cacio e Pepe Bucatini – A Roman Tradition

  • 15 mins total
  • 5 mins prep
  • 10 mins cook
  • serves 4 

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Cacio e Pepe Bucatini- A Roman Tradition

Reminiscing of our last summer vacation in Italy, here is an extremely quick and yet absolutely delicious recipe for Cacio e Pepe. I have been craving it since my last bite in Italy. A pasta dish like no others.

This regional dish from Rome, “Cacio e Pepe” means “Cheese and Pepper”.

As the name suggests the ingredients of this dish are very simple and include only black pepper, Pecorino Romano cheese, and of course pasta.


  • To keep the moisture content of the pasta moist adds the cooking water. It will adhere to the pecorino and pasta, allows it to remain moist.
  • Recommend using bucatini or spaghetti.
  • To intensify the Pepe or pepper flavor, grind fresh cracked pepper to the pasta. There is no comparison with the flavor.
  • Pecorino Romano, a sheep milk cheese that is aged. Freshly grated will bring so much flavor to this dish.

Difference between Pecorino Romano and Parmesan

The main difference between the cheeses is the milk. Parmesan cheese is from cow’s milk. Pecorino is from sheep’s milk.

They both differentiate in flavor. Parmesan is more fruity and milder.  The Pecorino is stronger in flavor and spicier.

Pecorino is one of the oldest cheeses in Italy dating back to the Roman Age.

However, lots have changed since and since it is produced on the island of Sardinia, a small production in Lazio using whole fresh milk from local sheep.

Both fresh kinds of cheese are a staple in my refrigerator as dairy food is concerned.

You may also like:

Ravioli with Artichokes Hearts, Capers, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach
Caramelize Onion and Bacon Tarte
Orzo with Basil Butter, Peppers, Tomatoes

Enjoy this wonderful and super easy dish and let your imagination transport you to Italy, even if temporarily.

Giangi's Kitchen Signature
Nutrition Facts
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 487 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 48mg16%
Sodium 306mg13%
Potassium 211mg6%
Carbohydrates 64g21%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 365IU7%
Calcium 286mg29%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bucatini Cacio e Pepe

  • 15 mins total
  • 5 mins prep
  • 10 mins cook
  • serves 4 


Original recipe yields 4 servings

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  • 1 package of bucatini or spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon coarse grind fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to packaging direction to “Al Dente”

  2. Reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

  3. Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper and cook, swirling the pan until the butter melted and the pepper is slightly toasted. Add half of the reserved pasta water to the skillet and bring to simmer.

  4. Add pasta and remaining butter. Reduce the heat to low and add pecorino cheese stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Add more pasta water if the sauce seems dry.

  5. Transfer to a bowl and serve hot.


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