Cacio e Pepe pasta: recipe, origins and curiosities

June 13, 2023
written by: Veronica Eredi

Humble cuisine, unforgettable cuisine. Among the most famous dishes of Italian cuisine in the world, most have a popular origin. Like Cacio & Pepe pasta: a pasta topped with cheese (usually pecorino romano) and pepper for flavour. Dez Amore has named it one of the signature pasta of the menu. A must in every London shack, it is served after being whipped in the characteristic cheese wheel, in front of your eyes. But let’s find out more about Cacio e Pepe.

Where it comes from, what the recipe is, why it is so popular.

What’s Cacio e Pepe

Cacio & Pepe implies the word pasta. Cacio & Pepe pasta is one of the most famous recipes of Italian cuisine in the world. A simple dish, that already contains, in its iconic name, its main ingredients: cacio – or cheese – and black pepper.

Where is Cacio and Pepe from

Cacio e Pepe is a typical dish of Lazio and Roman cuisine. It used to be cooked by farmers and shepherds in the countryside around the Italian capital.

Silvia Bifaro 4DEZAmore29 - Dez Amore

Why is Cacio and Pepe so popular?

Cacio e Pepe is so popular because of the simplicity of its preparation and the limited list of ingredients. There are three ingredients: cacio, pepper and pasta. Ingredients that are easily available, affordable and have a long shelf life. Cacio & Pepe is also so popular because it is very tasty and juicy.

Cacio & Pepe Pasta, the recipe

Making Cacio e Pepe sauce is simply a matter of adding and mixing pecorino romano cheese with a little hot water (cooking water from the pasta is also fine). Then add peppercorns. “At Dez Amore, we use Sardinian pecorino, certified to make Roman Cacio e Pepe, and black pepper,” explains Leonardo Masi, chef and founder of Dez Amore. “We take the pecorino wheels, cut them into quarters and grate it. Then we heat the water and we put the pecorino in it and mix it. The pecorino cheese at this point melts and becomes a cream. Then the pepper is sprinkled in. A rather quick and simple process,’ Leonardo continues.

Dez Amore’s Cacio e Pepe in the cheese wheel

IMG 4123 copia - Dez Amore

Every Dez Amore’s Cacio e Pepe pasta is mantecata, before being served to the customer, in the carved cheese wheel, to accentuate the flavour of the pecorino even more. Even after cooking. “Grated grana cheese can then be added if the customer wants it,” Leonardo specifies.

What to serve with cacio e pepe? Toppings and wine

Dez Amore offers different types of toppings for the Cacio e Pepe. Toasted bacon, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. But the best companion for Cacio & Pepe is definitely a glass filled with Italian red wine.