Crispy Cacio e Pepe Recipe

The Roman tribute to cheese and black pepper is transformed in this golden and crispy pasta.
November 25, 2020, 12:00pm
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 2-4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes


kosher salt, to taste
8 ounces|225 grams creste di gallo or other short pasta 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 
2 ½ ounces|70 grams freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
2 ½ ounces|70 grams freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more to serve


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente, 9 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add the pepper and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta and ⅔ of each cheese. Add ¼ cup|60m ml of the reserved pasta water until creamy, then increase the heat to medium-high. Gently fry the pasta, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Once the pasta has achieved crispy, golden perfection, toss in the remaining cheeses and some more of the reserved pasta water until creamy. Divide among plates and grate more of each cheese on top to serve. 

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