You don’t have to travel to Italy to enjoy this classic pasta recipe

Sofitel Rome’s Signature Cacio e Pepe Recipe, photo provided by Sofitel Rome
Sofitel Rome’s Signature Cacio e Pepe Recipe, photo provided by Sofitel Rome /

Looking to master a classic pasta recipe? This Italian chef shares his pasta secrets.

What is your favorite classic pasta recipe? While many people dream of enjoying pasta and wine in the beauty of Tuscany or in the heart of Rome, home cooks are starting to explore making some of these Italian recipes at home. Before feeling intimidated about the process, a few key ingredients can set any home cook on the right recipe path.

Although opening a package of dried pasta is convenient, making pasta from scratch makes even a classic pasta recipe more flavorful. Just like fresh ingredients in a recipe, fresh pasta does make a different.

Chef Guiseppe D’ Alessio, Executive Chef of the five-start Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese hotel in Rome Italy has shared his tips for making fresh pasta. Before tackling his classic pasta recipe, Cacio e Pepe, consider making fresh pasta to use in the dish.

Here is what Chef D’Alessio recommends if you choose to make fresh pasta.

Combine both 00 flour and re-milled semolina

While 00 flour is a common pasta ingredient, the re-milled semolina adds a crispy texture. Combined with the 00 flour’s elasticity, the pasta has the perfect balance of texture and flavor.

Al dente matters

The term al dente literally means to the tooth. In cooking terms, it means that the pasta is cooked firm when it is bitten. No, you do not need to throw the pasta on the wall or other old wives’ tales. But, that pasta shouldn’t be a mushy mess.

Also, add that al dente pasta to a pan with the sauce. The pasta will release some of its starch into the sauce. That combination will make the sauce more creamy.

Add the extra virgin olive oil

Before finishing the dish, always add 1 spoon of extra virgin oil. This little extra ingredient rounds out the flavors and completes the dish.

Also, remember to use your olive oil in a timely manner. Whether it is an expensive one or an every day variety, extra virgin olive oil can go bad.

With those homemade pasta tips in mind, Chef Guiseppe D’ Alessio has shares a classic pasta recipe that everyone will love. Served at the Sofitel Rome, the Signature Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman dish. It is basically a cheese and pepper pasta recipe.

This recipe shows that simplicity can make the perfect pasta dish. With only a handful of ingredients, this dish is easy to make.

Since there are just a few ingredients, try to use the best ingredients possible. From fresh pasta to a great olive oil, simple recipes are all about the ingredients. With this recipe, it might be time to splurge a little.

Sofitel Rome’s Signature Cacio e Pepe Recipe


  • 12 oz. of tonnarelli or spaghetti
  • 1 tbs. of olive oil
  • 5.5 oz. pecorino cheese (Aged 18 months)
  • 3.5 tbsp. parmesan (Aged 30 months)
  • 3.5 tbsp. pecorino (Aged 24 months)
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Season with salt.
  • Add tonnarelli to the pot and stir occasionally for 1 minute for fresh pasta and 2 minutes for dry pasta.
  • Meanwhile, combine grated pecorino cheese, grated 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.
  • 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.
  • Finally, finish the dish with pecorino.

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Are you ready to make this classic pasta recipe? What is your favorite Italian recipe to make at home?