4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti - Like mac & cheese for adults, this is the cheesy pepper pasta you need for a quick, elegant mid-week dinner. So. Good. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti

What could be faster than mac and cheese? Your very own Cacio e Pepe, of course. Literally consisting of pasta, pecorino romano cheese and cracked black pepper, it's the sophisticated take on mac and cheese for adults that you’ve been waiting for.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 382kcal
Author Wandercooks
Cost $5


  • 100 g spaghetti
  • 1 cup pecorino romano cheese very finely grated (+ extra for garnish)
  • 1-2 tbsp pasta water from cooking
  • 1-2 tsp cracked black pepper


  • Okay now, let’s start by bringing a large pot of water to the boil. Pop in your pasta then quicky throw in a generous pinch of salt to bring it quickly back to the boil. Cook your pasta al dente according to packet directions.
  • While it's cooking, scoop out ½ to 1 cup of pasta water and allow it to cool down to lukewarm. Then drain your pasta and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Pop your finely grated cheese into a large mixing bowl, then add in a tbsp of pasta water and stir quickly with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth, creamy, cheesy sauce. You’re looking for a semi-thick texture like bechamel sauce, because extra liquid from the cooked pasta will make it runnier later on.
  • Now add the pasta into the bowl of cheese and use a fork and spoon to thoroughly mix until your pasta is evenly coated. Sprinkle with black pepper and give it an extra stir.
  • Aftet that, transfer to serving plates or bowls then garnish with extra cheese and as much cracked black pepper as your heart and tastebuds desire.
  • Now go and enjoy your fancy mac and cheese like the proper sophisticated adult you are. ;)


This recipe fed two hungry Wandercooks for lunch no problems. Feel free to scale up your ingredients if you're feeding more people or just feeling extra hungry. We won't judge. ;)


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 208IU | Calcium: 543mg | Iron: 1mg