Cacio e PePe

5 from 1 vote
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.

This healthier Cacio e PePe is easy, ready in about 20 minutes and will surprise your family and friends with classic Italian flavors. This is one of my personal favorite Italian dishes. I crave the simplicity of the minimal ingredients every time the weather cools down. My version is slightly healthier than the classic. I add lemon juice and garlic to brighten the dish a little. The way I prepare it requires less cheese with the same great flavor.

Healthier Cacio e PePe in a gray bowl with fresh parsley on top for color
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Why Make This Recipe.

This Cacio e PePe is easy. It is ready in under 20 minutes.

Minimal ingredients. This Cacio e PePe has very minimal ingredients and creates the perfect marriage for a creamy sauce.

Everyone loves this dish. This is a very popular recipe that most everyone loves (even kids!) Cheese, noodles and pepper are a perfect combo.

Recipe Ingredients.

All the ingredients needed for the Healthier Cacio e PePe. Pasta, salt and pepper, garlic, olive oil, pecorino, lemon, parsley.

Lemon. A tiny squeeze of lemon really brightens the flavors in this simple Italian dish. Most Cacio e PePe won’t call for lemon and it is certainly optional.

Pasta Water: This works as a nice binder/ thickener for pasta recipes. The starchy water helps a silkyness to sauces.

Pecorino Romano. This cheese is my favorite of all cheeses. It is salty and nutty in flavor.

Olive Oil. You want to use a high quality non bitter olive oil. Some olive oils have a bitterness that will ruin the flavors so be sure to taste test the oil before hand.

How To Make This Recipe.

Step 1 showing pasta water being poured into olive oil mixture. Step two showing mixture being poured over finished pasta.
Finished pasta with pecorino over it about to be mixed together in a gray bowl.

Step 1: Cook your pasta! As mentioned my version of Cacio e PePe is slightly different than the classic. You will mix together the lemon juice, olive oil garlic, pepper, salt in a small bowl. You will pour leftover pasta water into the mixture to loosen it up and give it more flavor.

Step 2: Whisk together well and pour over your al dente noodles. Al dente means cooked to be slightly still firm when bitten into. I don’t like to overcook my pasta because it tends to fall apart.

Step 3: Add in shredded Pecorino Romano and stir well.

FAQs and Expert Tips.

Salt your pasta water! Once you pour the pasta into the boiling water, be sure to add some salt to the water. About 1/4 tsp should do fine. This is your only opportunity to season the pasta.

Can I use any pasta shape?

Yes! Any shape will do great. I prefer rigatoni, penne and spaghetti.

Can I use butter instead of olive oil?

Yes you can.

Will Parmesan work?

Yes, it won’t be quite the same but if you prefer parmesan and it is easier for you to find than it will work!

Where do i find Pecorino Romano?

Most grocery stores will have it in the specialty cheese department. I find Costco has a great one on the shelves and it’s reasonable per pound. Whole Foods, and other speciality groceries will also carry it.

What does Pecorino taste like?

It is very similar to parmesan but it is made from sheep’s milk instead of cow’s milk. It is hard, salty and has a light nutty flavor to it.

You can eat this pasta on it’s own or top it with fresh sautéed scallops or chicken breast.

Healthier Cacio e PePe in a gray bowl with fresh parsley on top for color. seared scallops are on top to show you can top with a protein.

Other Recipes To Try.

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Healthier Cacio e PePe in a gray bowl with fresh parsley on top for color
5 from 1 vote

Cacio e PePe

This healthier Cacio e PePe is easy, ready in about 20 minutes and will surprise your family and friends with classic Italian flavors. This is one of my personal favorite Italian dishes. The way I prepare it requires less cheese with the same great flavor.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups cooked pasta
  • 1 cup pecorino
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp salt, more to taste if needed
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley for color

Notes

*use a high quality pecorino for the most flavor.
*salt your pasta water while it is cooking. This is the only way to season your pasta.
*Parsley or basil is optional to add a little garnish to the dish.
*use any pasta you prefer.  

Nutrition

Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 278mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 405
Keyword: 20 minute, Cacio e Pepe
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Bailey


You may also like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating