Home Grown: How to make Cacio e Pepe with master pasta chef Mateo Zielonka

The Pasta Man at Soho House cacio e Pepe recipe

For the next instalment of our Home Grown series, the 180 Studios head chef shares his recipe for the classic pasta dish

By Ollie Horne

Mateo Zielonka, also known as The Pasta Man to his Instagram followers, shows us how to make the Italian classic, Cacio e Pepe. Meaning ‘cheese and pepper’ in Italian, it really is as simple as that: pasta in a buttery, cheesy sauce, scattered with coarse, ground pepper. 

The head chef uses pipi here for his pasta – a kind of thick, hand-rolled spaghetti – but you can use whatever shape you want. The key to perfecting the glossy sauce is to keep the heat low as you add your Parmesan to stop the cheese going stringy. Watch the video above to see how Zielonka makes it. 

Serves four

400g fresh egg pasta (or equivalent amount of pasta dough)
75g butter
4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
80g Parmesan
Juice of ½ lemon


1. If you are making the pipe, take your pasta dough and flatten it with your hands. Cut into thin strips and roll from the middle outwards. Dust with semolina flour and leave to one side.
2. To make the sauce, add the butter and half a ladleful of water to a large flat pan. Add the black pepper and a pinch of salt, stir gently, and leave on a low heat.
3. Drop your fresh pasta in boiling water and cook for two to three minutes.
4. Remove your pasta and add to the butter emulsion to finish cooking. Add half a ladle of pasta cooking water and cook on a medium heat.
5. Reduce the heat to low and grate in your Parmesan. Mix gently and cook until the sauce thickens (the consistency should be similar to double cream). Add your lemon juice and serve with more grated cheese.

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