Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe. Grown up macaroni & cheese. Cheesy, peppery heaven in a bowl. Whatever you call it, it’s an Italian classic and one of my favorite dishes to create. I made this one on a whim. I just wanted pasta at 11:00 pm one night, as one does, and whipped this one up. And get this – no butter. I know, I know…it’d be way more decadent with butter BUT we’re trying to be healthy here, aren’t we? Anyway, it was almost too pretty to eat…keyword: almost. Check out the full recipe below!

Cacio e Pepe

Servings: 2
Calories: 571
Fat: 18.6
Carbs: 86.6
Protein: 18.4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp of black pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 1-1.5 cups of reserved pasta water
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes


  1. Get that pot of water boiling! Always start your big pot of salty water over heat while you’re preparing ingredients – helps save on time 🙂
  2. Add your garlic and oil to a frying pan on low – watch the garlic, you don’t want it to burn! Season the oil with a little bit of salt, pepper, and a dash of red pepper flakes.
  3. Prior to straining your pasta, add about a cup of pasta water to your oil and garlic.
  4. Add your cooked spaghetti to the oil and garlic. Saute over low-medium heat.
  5. Add you parmesan cheese slowly, along with a heap of pepper. Toss your pasta in with the parmesan cheese until completely coated. Ensure the “sauce” soaks up into the pasta, but isn’t too thin or thick to serve. If it’s too thick, add more pasta water over medium heat.
  6. Serve with additional black pepper or chopped parsley!

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