Classic Cheese and Pepper Spaghetti (Cacio e Pepe)

This classic dish can be put together with just five ingredients: salt, spaghetti, olive oil, peppercorns and Parmesan.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4
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Kosher salt

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns, plus coarsely ground for garnish

2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppercorns and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pasta and 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking water and toss to combine. Slowly add the Parmesan and stir until the pasta is coated. Adjust the consistency with a little more of the reserved water if needed and season with salt to taste and garnish with more Parmesan and coarsely ground pepper if desired.