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Cacio e Pepe Carbonara

Cacio e Pepe Carbonara

  • Author: Molly
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This Cacio e Pepe Carbonara is a mash up of two Italian classics and the flavor does not disappoint. Creamy, rich, carbonara-style sauce is flavored with pecorino romano and lots of black pepper to create the cacio e pepe experience! This recipe comes together quickly and easily and tastes like heaven on earth.


  • 1 lb bucatini pasta (any long noodle will work)
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • Fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, for garnish
  • Fried or poached eggs, for serving (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season liberally with salt and add in the pasta. Cook until el dente, according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water (see NOTE below).
  2. Meanwhile, crisp the bacon in a large skillet. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Reserve the drippings in the skillet.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, heavy cream, cheeses, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  4. When the pasta is done, place the skillet used for the bacon over very low heat. Add the pasta to the bacon drippings and then pour in the egg-cream mixture.
  5. At this point, I will poach or fry eggs for serving (totally optional but this gives the dish a wow factor).
  6. Cook the pasta over very, very low heat in the large skillet, tossing it constantly, and adding a little bit of pasta water here and there as you stir. It will be liquidy at first! This is normal. The sauce will take a few minutes to cook and thicken enough to coat the noodles. It is ready when it is creamy and glossy and easily coating the noodles. Season, to taste, with more salt and pepper.
  7. Serve the pasta while hot and garnished with poached or fried eggs, the reserved bacon, additional cheese, fresh herbs, another grating of lemon zest, and extra black pepper cracked over top.


If serving this dish with poached eggs, I actually do not drain the pasta cooking water. I will return it to a simmer and use it to poach the eggs right before serving. Two birds, one stone!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: pasta

Keywords: cacio e pepe carbonara pasta, pasta carbonara, cacio e pepe pasta sauce, rich and indulgent pasta dishes