Fabio's Three-Ingredient Spaghetti: Cacio E Pepe

For more videos from Chow Ciao!, click here!

Who knew a dish this simple could taste this special? Chef Fabio goes back to basics with spaghetti cacio e pepe, a famous Roman dish with a sauce comprised of just three ingredients: butter, pepper, and Parmesan. Once you master this technique, you'll never go back to plain buttered noodles!

Culinary Tips:

--Since this dish has so few ingredients, it's important to use the best quality ingredients you can afford.

--This dish only takes as long as it takes for the pasta to cook, so be sure to grate your Parmesan ahead of time.

--Practice makes perfect: if you don't master the perfect creamy texture the first time, don't despair! The pasta will still taste good, and you can always try again.

--Ignore the instructions: reduce the box's cooking time by 1-2 minutes for perfect pasta al dente.

--Save that pasta water! The starchy water is a crucial element to a proper emulsion.

--This dish is extra special with Fabio's Fresh Pasta.


Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yield: 2 servings


8 oz. spaghetti

4 oz. (half a stick) butter

¾-1 T. black pepper, freshly cracked

½-¾ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook to al dente.

While the pasta cooks, melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the fresh cracked pepper.

When the butter begins to bubble, turn off the flame and remove from heat.

When the pasta is ready, add the noodles and 2-3 tbsp. of the pasta water to the sauté pan.

Cook over medium high heat until the liquid bubbles and thickens, tossing the pasta as needed.

Remove from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese, tossing rigorously until all ingredients are incorporated into a creamy sauce.

Garnish with additional black pepper and Parmesan, and serve immediately.


Like this dish? Check out these other QUICK PASTA recipes from Chow Ciao!

Spaghetti Carbonara

Penne alla Vodka

Linguine Arrabbiata