Cacio e Sichuan Pepe

Cacio e Sichuan Pepe

I love the simplicity of cacio e pepe and never really thought of anything I could do to put a new twist on it until recently. I love working with the numbing and almost flavor-changing Sichuan pepper and had a large bag that I shared with a friend. He told me he used it in carbonara and I decided it would be fun to feature this pepper in a cacio e pepe dish. I replaced half the black pepper in the dish with Sichuan pepper and added some chili since it works so well with the numbing peppercorn. I really loved how this simple dish came out and the last minute idea to top it with fresh serrano peppers really brought in a freshness and brought everything together.

I first cooked the three peppers in some olive oil to help bring out the flavors.

Then I added the oil and some soy sauce to grated pecorino cheese.

Mix the cheese with the oil and soy sauce to form a paste.

Then add the hot pasta and toss well to form the quick sauce, adding a little of the pasta cooking liquid to help bring things together.

I really liked this dish. Simple, spicy, and very flavorful with minimal ingredients or time spent.

Watch out with that Sichuan pepper though! I originally used slightly too much and my mouth was tingling for an hour and it makes water taste really weird.

Cacio e Sichuan Pepe

A simple cacio e pepe made spicy and unique with the addition of not only the traditional black pepper, but also chili pepper and Sichuan pepper
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 3 people


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground sichuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes I used gochugaru
  • 8 ounces thick spaghetti
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • thinly sliced serrano pepper


  • Bring the water to a boil and drop the pasta in.
  • Bring the oil to a medium low heat and add in the black, Sichuan, and red peppers. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until fragrant.
  • Put the cheese into a large bowl and add the soy sauce. Add in the warm pepper oil. Stir well to form a thick paste.
  • When the pasta is ready add it directly to the bowl and stir vigerously to combine and form the sauce. Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to help the sauce form,
  • Serve the pasta and top with more black pepper, chili pepper, cheese, and the serrano slices.

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