Pink Peppercorn Cacio e Pepe

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Cacio e Pepe is a simple, traditional Roman dish. When I think of Roman cuisine, I think of this pasta, as well as Carbonara. This recipe is delicious, and also kid-friendly! This is a fun take on the traditional dish, and was inspired by one of my favorite local restaurants, Fox & the Knife.

A blue plate on a wooden table with long pasta topped with pink peppercorns. Another plate of pasta in the background, two crystal wine glasses with white wine, and a golden fork.

why you should make this traditional cacio e pepe recipe

Cacio e pepe is like a grown-up version of the buttered noodles your mom would make you with some cheese on top as a kid. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and it’s comforting. This dish is ready in 15 minutes, truly the longest part is boiling the pasta water and cooking the pasta. Save this recipe in your back pocket.. you’ll be surprised at how often you end up making it! Another delicious pasta recipe I suggest is my traditional Carbonara.

How to make cacio e pepe: ingredients pasta, pink peppercorn, cheese, and  goat butter on a marble background.
What do you need to make Cacio e Pepe at home?

what ingredients do you need to make Cacio e Pepe?

  • Goat Butter – The traditional recipe does not include butter whatsoever! This is a fun take on the traditional recipe, so you can totally omit the butter.
  • Pecorino Romano Cheese – An Italian hard cheese that’s very salty (and delicious!). A key ingredient for sure!
  • Pepper- I love pink peppercorns for this fun take, but you can use traditional black as well.

how do I make cacio e pepe at home?

recipe faq’s

How do I avoid cheese clumps?

A very crucial step is ensuring that your Pecorino Romano is so finely ground that it is like a powder. If you grate it and it is too big, it will clump.

Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you make this recipe – and if you do, don’t forget to tag @seasonedandsalted and #seasonedandsalted on Instagram!

A blue plate on a wooden table with long pasta topped with pink peppercorns. Another plate of pasta in the background, two crystal wine glasses with white wine, and a golden fork.

Pink Peppercorn Cacio e Pepe

Allie Hagerty
Cacio e Pepe is a classic Roman dish. It translates to cheese and pepper, which are the two main ingredients. This version is a modern twist on the traditional pasta and is inspired by Fox & The Knife, an unbelievable restaurant located in Boston.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 474 kcal


  • stockpot
  • mixing bowls
  • tongs
  • colander/strainer
  • box grater


  • 12 ounces pasta spaghetti is the traditional choice
  • 4 ounces freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pink peppercorns plus extra for topping
  • 2 tablespoons goat butter
  • salt for pasta water


  • Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot. Season with salt (after it boils!) and add your pasta. Cook until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, grate the Pecorino Romano until it becomes a fine powder (it should almost resemble dust!). Grind lots of pepper – honestly, I like to have a lot extra on hand!
  • Mix the cheese and pepper together (start with 2 1/2 teaspoons of pepper) and divide into two parts once combined. Place one half of the cheese + pepper mixture into a large serving bowl (where you will toss the pasta), and the rest in a small bowl for later.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, set aside 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the remaining pasta.
  • Get your tongs ready! Quickly pour the pasta into the large serving bowl with half of the cheese and pepper and add about 1/2 cup of water to the bowl. Using the tongs, mix quickly – tossing the pasta and scraping up the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the rest of the cheese and pepper, as well as the two tablespoons of goat butter. Continue to toss and mix until butter has melted and a smooth, silky sauce develops. Split between four plates and serve immediately with additional pepper or cheese, if desired.


Calories: 474kcalCarbohydrates: 17.5gProtein: 58.5gFat: 16.7gSodium: 750mgPotassium: 337.5mgFiber: 5g
Keyword Cheese,, Pasta, Roman
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