Pasta Cacio, Pepe, e Cavolo Nero

March  9, 2011
5 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Cacio e Pepe is a traditional dish of Rome. It's very simple and easy to make. One of those comfort dishes that tastes good and pleases all ages. "Cacio" meaning cheese, most commonly used is Pecorino Romano and "Pepe" meaning pepper. This dish is usually made with Spaghetti or Bucatini. I used Bucatini which has a pin hole through it. I always need my greens so I added some lacinato kale "cavolo nero". A poached egg would be a really nice addition. I added a touch of lemon and truffle salt which gave it a nice little boost. Pecorino is naturally really salty so not much additional salt is needed, also it is much more affordable then parmesan making this pretty cost efficient. —Nicole Franzen

  • Serves 2
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Lemon
  • Sea salt (I used truffle salt, optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta to directions.
  2. In a large sauté pan on medium-low heat, drizzle a little olive oil, and add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Rinse and cut kale into thin strips, removing the larger part of the ribs that are tough. Add kale to pan and sauté until tender -- about 4 minutes. Grate about a loose cup of Pecorino cheese on a box grater. Drain pasta and immediately add to saute pan. Toss in a couple tablespoons of butter and cheese. Grind a good amount of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss well, adjust seasoning, and serve hot right away. Bon Appetito.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • panania
  • irina
  • Blork
  • hardlikearmour

7 Reviews

panania December 27, 2021
I made this recipe twice and loved it both times. The first times I only skimmed the directions and as a result I put to much pepper in and missed the lemon juice altogether. I thought to myself 'well, I cannot review it until I make it as instructed', so I made it again. This time I followed the directions, however I did used spaghetti instead of bucatini. (The spaghetti I used is direct from Italy and is a bit heavier, more like a spaghettoni.) It came out excellent. I'm definitely keeping this recipe in my "favorites" folder! Thank you.
Jennifer December 7, 2015
I just made and ate this for dinner and it's perfect. I keep a bag of frozen cooked pasta in the freezer so I grabbed a couple of servings of that to use and it was an est delicious after work meal. I used spinach instead of kale because any green will do and I added fresh thyme to the garlic and olive oil. Also didn't need any salt because the cheese and lemon and pepper season it beautifully.
irina December 1, 2014
I hope you don't do that when I have dinner at your house. I would end up in the
ER. Allergic to all fish and shellfish. Happened to me at a restaurant that did that.
Cheers, and be careful.
Blork June 17, 2014
Wait a sec... serves two? A pound of bucatini would usually serve four, or even six if there's another course. Typo?
a. F. January 4, 2019
I agree elms like a huge amount of pasta. Is this a mistake? Do I cut everything in half for two? Or just the pasta?
paulita52 June 15, 2014
I have made this many times and add 1-2 anchovies to garlic. They cook up and no one would ever know they are there, but oh the flavor they add!!!
hardlikearmour March 10, 2011
This sounds like a perfect, quick & easy but tasty meal.