Tagliatelle with Pecorino and Black Pepper

This recipe is a great Roman favourite, dating back to the cucina povera tradition. It can be prepared with any pasta, although tagliatelle or a slimmer version called tonnarelli work best. Although the sauce is often made with grated Pecorino alone, we found that version to be quite salty, so we opted for this mixed-cheese take from the St. Regis Grand Hotel. It is best to freshly grate the cheese.


  • 1 pound (500 grams) fresh tagliatelle or dried tagliatelle made with eggs
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup grated ricotta salata
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley


Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to boil (you will only need a littlesalt because Pecorino Romano cheese is salty). Add pasta, stir once and cook until al dente (about 3 minutes for fresh and 9 for dried).

Combine cheeses in a small pot, reserving 1/2 cup. Add 1 cup pasta cooking water over low heat, stirring occasionally to help cheeses melt. You can use an immersion blender to help emulsify the sauce if desired. Stir in remaining cheese for texture. Keep sauce warm over low heat.

Drain pasta and toss with butter and cheese sauce. Season well with freshly ground pepper to taste and garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 4.