Cacio e Pepe – Cheese and Pepper Pasta


  • From Joanna Gaines’ cookbook.
  • Use good, high-end cheese. They make a difference here.
  • Makes 4 servings


  • 8 oz. bucatini pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 3 oz. Parmesan cheese (grated) plus more for garnish
    • (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 oz. pecorino cheese (shredded) plus more for garnish
    • (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (grilled and cut into 1-inch slices)
    • (about 6 oz. each)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions (reserving 1 cup of the pasta water).
  2. Drain the pasta.
  3. Set the pasta and extra water aside.
  4. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  5. Add cracked pepper and toast until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  6. Add the pasta water and whisk until well incorporated.
  7. Using tongs, add the pasta to the skillet and toss.
  8. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and the cheeses.
  9. Toss until well coated.
  10. Place the pasta in bowls and top each serving with sliced chicken.
  11. Garnish with more cheese and cracked pepper and serve.
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