For a recipe with so few ingredients, there are many variations on the cooking method. Keep in mind that the quality of the ingredients is key to the final result.

Splurge on true pecorino and freshly ground pepper!

Here’s the way I typically make this quick and delicious dish:

Cacio e Pepe
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta*
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ to 1 cup grated pecorino
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the bucatini and cook for approximately 9 minutes for al dente (test a strand to see if it is done to your liking).
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet, melt the butter and add the black pepper, cooking on low heat.
  3. BEFORE draining the pasta remove at least 1 cup of the cooking liquid. You may want to remove 2 cups so you have some in reserve.
  4. Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet and increase the heat to medium.
  5. Stir in ½ cup of the pasta liquid to begin to create a sauce. Add the pecorino and stir.
  6. Cook for a minute or two to ensure the bucatini is nicely coated with the cheese and pepper and you have a little bit of a sauce. Add more pasta liquid if needed.
  7. Place in warmed pasta bowl, sprinkle with some extra cheese and enjoy (possibly with your fanciest fork)!
  8. *Bucatini can be hard to find in typical grocery stores. Other long pastas can be substituted. If you don’t have an Italian market nearby, you can order it from


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