Three cheese cacio e Pepe pasta – much easier to make than it is to pronounce if you’ve never heard the name before! But don’t be fooled by the name because this is just super simple pasta with three kinds of delicious cheese. Let’s get into them!

Our first cheese is parmesan which is a hard artisan cheese made from cow’s milk with a flavour profile that is fruity, nutty, savoury, and sharp. Now for something you may not already know! While “parmesan”-style cheeses are made all over the world, only cheese from the Parma or Reggio regions in Italy can legally be called “Parmesan” cheese.

Our next cheese in this recipe is grana padano. While it is very similar to parmesan in taste, it is much smoother and slightly less crumbly which adds to the creaminess of this sauce. Its naming rights are also governed much less strictly than parmesan’s so that’s good to know in case you want to start making your own!

Last but not least is pecorino romano, which is a sheep’s milk cheese that has a salty, sharp, smokey, and spicy flavour profile. Perfect to balance out the fruity flavour of the other two (chef’s kiss). This cheese was actually a staple of a Roman soldier’s diet, thousands of years ago. Pretty neat! Hope you enjoy the meal!

Equipment and Tools I Use for this Recipe

three cheese cacio e pepe

Three Cheese Cacio e Pepe

A simple but indulgent pasta dish made with three hard cheeses, butter and black pepper.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, pasta
Cuisine American, Canadian, Italian
Keyword cheese, chili peppers, creamy, parmesan, pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 People


  • 6 ounces long, thin pasta I used tagliolini
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • cup parmesan cheese finely grated
  • cup grana padano cheese finely grated
  • cup pecorino romano finely grated


  • Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the starchy cooking water.
  • In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter on medium. Add black pepper and stir it around in the butter to toast it, 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour reserved cooking water into the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the parmesan, grana padano and pecorino romano. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is thick.
  • Add remaining tablespoon of butter and stir until melted.
  • Add pasta to the sauce. Gently toss until the pasta is coated. Serve with more grated cheese and freshly cracked black pepper if desired.

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