Cacio e pepe
CoursePrimo (Italian pasta course)
Place of originItaly
Region or stateLazio
Main ingredientsTonnarelli or spaghetti, pecorino romano, black pepper

Cacio e pepe (Italian: [ˈkaːtʃo e pˈpeːpe]) is a pasta dish typical of the Lazio region of Italy.[1][2] Cacio e pepe means 'cheese and pepper' in several central Italian dialects. In keeping with its name, the dish contains grated pecorino romano and black pepper, together with tonnarelli[3] or spaghetti.[2] The origins of the dish are believed to be that "Shepherds from the pastoral communities of Lazio, Abruzzo, Tuscany and Umbria created cacio e pepe in the 18th or 19th century".[4] All the ingredients keep well for a long time, which made the dish practical for shepherds without fixed abode. Rough-surfaced pasta is recommended to make the sauce adhere well.


The pasta is prepared in boiling salted water as usual; it is then poured into the grated pecorino mixed with black pepper, with a little of the hot, starchy, cooking water. The heat melts the cheese, and the starches in the water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta.[5]

See also

Media related to Cacio e pepe at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ "Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti". La Cucina Italiana. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  2. ^ a b Boni (1930), p. 46
  3. ^ "Pasta cacio e pepe". Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  4. ^ Jenn Harris. "What is cacio e pepe and how did it take over the world?".
  5. ^ "Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe Ricetta Originale Romana" [Spaghetti cacio e pepe – the original Roman recipe]. The Foodellers (in Italian). Retrieved 17 October 2019. There is an English translation, but it lacks important tips on getting this deceptively simple dish right. Google Translate works well.