Pink Cacio e Pepe

One of the simplest preparations for pasta, but in my opinion one of the best, is Cacio e Pepe. It means cheese and pepper, and those are two of the 5 ingredients in this pasta. The cacio (the second “c” is pronounced “ch” so it sounds like “kah-cheeoh eh peh-peh”) used is typically Pecorino Romano cheese but I like adding in Parmesan so that the combination creates a wonderful flavor.

Pink Cacio e Pepe

And, traditionally, cracked black peppercorns are used in this dish, but I love the idea of crushed pink peppercorns! The flavor is a little spicier and floral and the pink color is very pretty!

Pink Cacio e Pepe
Pink Cacio e Pepe
Pink Cacio e Pepe

Begin by crushing the pink peppercorns. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can easily crush them by placing them in a zip-lock bag and using a meat mallet or rolling pin to accomplish the same thing. Don’t crush them too fine; you want the crunchy little bits in each bite.

After you sauté the peppercorns in butter, you add a little pasta water, put the drained pasta back in the pan, add the two cheeses and you are ready to serve it! Enjoy!

Pink Cacio e Pepe

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Lastly, if you make Pink Cacio e Pepe, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Pink Cacio e Pepe

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • Kosher salt
  • 10 ounces spaghetti or Fusilli Bucati Lunghi (long pasta spirals)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 to 3 tsp freshly cracked pink peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup (70 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated Pecorino cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cracked pink pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.

Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the spaghetti and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Serve immediately.

Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking


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    • Francine

      Glad to hear! Thanks for commenting!

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