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fork twirling cacio e pepe on plate

Bucatini Cacio e Pepe

With a little twist on a classic Italian dish, this cacio e pepe recipe uses just 4 ingredients and can be prepared in under 20 minutes.
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 494kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 1 lb bucatini
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 ½ cup reserved pasta water


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta to al dente and save 1 ½ cups of pasta water.
  • Heat freshly ground pepper in large skillet over medium heat until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 6 tablespoon butter and cook until melted, about 1 minute.
  • Once ready, add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and bring to simmer. Remove from heat and add the pasta. Gradually add the cheese a little bit at a time, tossing to coat. Then add the remaining pasta water and last tablespoon of butter.
  • Top with some freshly grated cheese and pepper and serve immediately.


  • Make sure the water you are cooking the pasta in is salted as some of the flavor comes from it.
  • DO NOT overcook the pasta when boiling. You want it just al dente or slightly under. It continues to cook with the sauce.
  • Toasting the black pepper enhances the flavor, but can be skipped if you want. Speaking of pepper, only use freshly ground.
  • Don't use pre-shredded cheese. You want if finely grated so it melts well. Pre-shredded has added ingredients that will just make it clump up.
  • The butter can be omitted if you prefer. I like it as it adds some extra richness. You might need to add more pasta water to make up the difference.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g