Spaghetti cacio e pepe

An Italian friend of mine passed this simple dish on to me. It’s a traditional pasta dish straight from Rome. Spaghetti cacio e pepe literally means spaghetti cheese and pepper. If you like a little more or less pepper or garlic, adjust to your personal taste. Serve with a side salad and a crusty loaf of bread. It’s amazing how something so simple can be so delicious! The Pecorino Romano makes it salty while the pepper gives that kick.


1 pound spaghetti
6 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 3/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Then, cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package. When you are ready to strain the pasta, scoop out about 3/4 of a cup of cooking water and reserve. Strain spaghetti.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper; stir until fragrant, one to two minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the spaghetti and Pecorino Romano cheese. Ladle in 1/2 cup of reserved cooking water; stir until cheese is melted, about a minute. Add more cooking water until sauce coats spaghetti, about another minute. Top with freshly ground cracked pepper and serve.

Serves 4 and takes about 15-20 minutes total to make. It might be simple but it really is delicious!

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