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Spaghetti with Pepper and Cheese.

Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti

A quick and easy yet flavorful pasta dish utilizing a few good quality ingredients. Italy's version of an ever popular mac and cheese.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marisa


  • 1 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper to your taste
  • 454 grams Spaghetti


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Salt the boiling water and add in the spaghetti. (use less salt then you would normally because we are adding the pasta water to the cheeses which are salty on their own)
  • Cook while stirring occasionally so that the spaghetti does not stick together and remove 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time.
  • Reserve 2 cups of pasta water and set aside to cool slightly. (You'll probable not need all 2 cups)
  • Meanwhile heat up a large skillet over medium heat and toast a generous amount of freshly cracked coarse black pepper for about 30 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add in a ladle of pasta water and let this simmer to infuse the pasta water with the freshly ground pepper for another 30 seconds then remove the pan from the heat.
  • Toss in the drained spaghetti.
  • Place both cheeses in a medium sized bowl and whisk in a ladle of reserved and slightly cooled pasta water to form a sauce.
  • Quickly pour the cheese mixture over the spaghetti while stirring vigorously and add in an additional ladle of pasta water.
  • Stir well and if the spaghetti seem a little dry, add more pasta water, continuing to stir just until the cheeses have melted and a creamy sauce is obtained while generously coating the pasta.
  • Plate and serve with additional cracked black pepper, grated cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired.