A Traditional Roman Recipe for Cacio e Pepe


Celebrate World Pasta Day with a traditional and easy-to-make Cacio e Pepe from Chef Giuseppe D’Alessio. Photo: from_my_point_of_view/Getty Images

We may not be able to travel just yet; for now, we venture through our minds and our appetites! 

We’ve asked our friends at the five-star Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese hotel, managed by the same company as Canada’s Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, for a secret recipe. Executive Chef Giuseppe D’Alessio was happy to oblige.

Executive Chef Giuseppe D’Alessio Photo: Courtesy of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese

Yes, we said Rome. The Eternal City, from where some of the country’s most delicious Cacio e Pepe pasta dishes can be devoured. Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman dish composed of a thick pasta and rich, creamy sauce, says Chef D’Alessio. Meaning “cheese and pepper,” the dish consists of only a few ingredients, making it a quick, no-fuss meal to prepare at home.

And since we’re all craving a bit of comfort food as the months grow cooler and autumn is in the air, why not pasta?

Of course, Chef D’Alessio makes all of his pasta from scratch and, since we’ve been in our physically distanced universe, many of you have been experimenting at home, as well. We’ve also included his tips on making the most mouth-watering homemade pasta, just for you. Ciao!

Three Tips for Making Homemade Pasta 

The five-star hotel’s Executive Chef Giuseppe D’Alessio shares his tips for making the best pasta at home below.

  1. Use 00 (double zero) flour together with re-milled semolina. This is because re-milled semolina gives pasta a crispy texture while the 00 flour part gives it elasticity.
  2. Always cook pasta “al dente” and then add it to the cooking pan with your desired sauce to keep the pasta “bright” and tasty. This is because pasta releases starch, which helps the sauce become more creamy. 
  3. Include at least 1 spoon of extra virgin olive oil – make sure not to forget it! 

Additionally, Chef D’Alessio shares his signature Cacio e Pepe recipe for pasta lovers to enjoy at home!

Sofitel Rome’s Signature Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Cacio e Pepe
Photo: Alberto Blasetti/Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese
  • 12 oz tonnarelli or spaghetti 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 5.5 oz pecorino cheese (aged 18 months), grated 
  • 3.5 tbsp Parmesan (aged 30 months), grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste 
  • 3.5 tbsp pecorino (aged 24 months), grated


  1. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Season with salt.
  2. Add tonnarelli to the pot and stir occasionally for 1 minute for fresh pasta and 2 minutes for dry pasta. 
  3. Meanwhile, combine pecorino cheese, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and ½ cup of the boiling water in a heavy skillet over medium heat, creating a cream. Grind black pepper to taste. 
  4. Once the pasta is fully cooked, drain it in a strainer and add it to the skillet. Mix the pasta with the cream sauce.  Add more olive oil or black pepper to achieve a lighter consistency. 
  5. Finally, finish the dish with aged pecorino.



The Ultimate Comfort Food: 5 Perfect Pasta Recipes