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Szechuan Cacio e Pepe (Easy Spicy Pasta Recipe)

We are giving your favourite pasta recipe a bit of spicy flare with this Szechuan Cacio e Pepe! This recipe is everything you love about the classic pasta dish and is super easy to prepare any day of the week.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Chinese, American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 -6
Calories 566kcal


  • 11/2 + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Szechuan pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 11/2 cups Pecorino romano grated with a micro plane zester
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese grated with a micro plane zester
  • 375 g whole wheat spaghetti 1 box
  • 1 - 11/2 cup pasta water
  • Salt


  • Toast both the black and Szechuan peppercorn in a wide skillet over medium heat until fragrant, this should take a minute or two. Toss it into a mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse powder.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt generously. Add pasta to the pot, ensure to undercook by a couple of minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the spaghetti.
  • While the pasta is cooking, return the same wide skillet back to the stove. Bring olive oil and half the butter to medium high heat. Add in the toasted and freshly ground pepper and stir. Next add in ½ cup of the pasta water to form a sauce.
  • Add the spaghetti toss till the spaghetti is well coated in the sauce. Turn off the heat and finish with remaining butter, pasta water and all the cheese. Toss some more till the pasta looks thick and glossy (add some more water if needed)
  • Serve immediately with half a teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper and pecorino romano cheese.


  • We recommend waiting to add the cheese until AFTER you turn off the heat, otherwise it will become clumpy which is no bueno
  • Keep in mind that Szechuan peppers deliver a numbing sensation, so a little goes a long way. I'd suggest starting with ½ teaspoon and adding more depending on your taste preference.
  • While this recipe is pretty simple and straight forward, for best results you will need a mortar and pestle and a micro plane zester


Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 750mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Calcium: 592mg | Iron: 3mg