Cheese & Black Pepper Pasta (Cacio e Pepe)

It’s really not that hard for me to refrain from hametz for a week, but after Pesach I do enjoy eating pasta and pizza even more. And sometimes it takes a little bit of time to restock my kitchen. I’m sure it’s not just me…

We all know that (my sister and) I like intensive kitchen projects, ones that take days of waiting, hours of folding, kneading, watching and baking. But I also have a full-time job, not-food-related hobbies and friends I like to hang out with, so sometimes my fridge is less than full. That’s why it’s important to have recipes like these on hand.

This couldn’t be simpler. All you need is pasta, cheese and pepper. Really, it takes maybe 10 minutes, but is delicious—and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like parmesan cheese! I can’t explain why I even wanted to make this pasta, but I’m glad that I did. I am still not a cheese-convert, but will tolerate it here.

I used fresh pasta for this, because it’s oh-so-delicious, and it’s great for when you’re making such a simple sauce; I bought the kosher parmesan from Fairway.

Linguine Cacio e Pepe, not-really-adapted from Mario Batali
serves 4


  • 1 lb linguini
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • grated parmesan cheese, about a cup
  • ground black pepper, about 2 teaspoons
  • salt to taste


  1. Boil pasta in salted water. Reserve the starchy cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over high heat. (Or you can use the same pan—fewer dishes to wash!)
  3. Add the pasta and a cup of the cooking water to the pan. Be careful.
  4. Add butter, cheese and pepper (saving some for garnish) and mix well.
  5. Add salt if you think it needs it. Add more pasta water if necessary.
  6. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of cheese and some pepper on top.