Cacio e Pepe Pasta with Peas

The sauce for this pasta dish is just cheese and pepper (aka cacio e pepe in Italian). Try this with kids as a simple yet sophisticated alternative to standard mac and cheese. Lots of black pepper adds a touch of heat, priming picky palates for spicier food.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 servings


  • 8 ounces dried tagliatelle or pappardelle

  • 2 cups peas

  • ¾ cup grated pecorino cheese

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper, plus more for serving

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and peas and cook until the pasta is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water and drain the pasta and peas.

  2. Combine pecorino and Parmesan in a small bowl.

  3. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and salt and cook for 1 minute. Carefully pour in 3/4 cup of the cooking water and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and peas; remove from heat.

  4. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese mixture. Toss, adding more of the cooking water as needed, until well coated, about 2 minutes. Serve with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and more pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

454 Calories
19g Fat
52g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 454
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g 33%
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Vitamin A 1655IU 33%
Vitamin C 12mg 13%
Folate 36mcg 9%
Sodium 421mg 18%
Calcium 196mg 15%
Iron 4mg 22%
Magnesium 19mg 5%
Potassium 113mg 2%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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