Risotto Cacio e Pepe by Marta | Recipes from Siena, Italy

Thank you Marta for another beautifully simple recipe. 

This is an -ORIGINAL- dish by Marta using classical Italian techniques and ingredients, but with a twist. 
Marta took the “Cacio e pepe” sauce usually used with thick spaghetti (tonnarelli) and mixed it into risotto with pears for a modern approach. The result is a play on a cheese plate. Its a little sweet with pears, and then spicy with the black pepper- and then cheesy of course. 
I didn’t try it with the pears yet, but just the cheesy risotto is incredible. Be sure to use a good aged Pecorino cheese. Grate it yourself.

Marta suggested that it could be a less sweet dessert or after dinner cheese plate course for people who don’t really like sweets. That sounds lovely and the perfect kind of European escapism I need right now.

Here is my adaptation of Marta’s recipe. See the full IGTV video at the bottom of this post!

amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”; amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “chefjoannas20-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_title = “My Amazon Picks”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “ead5874351b202c39cf363fe0b1598e0”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B000EH4XZC,B0042RQ9SO,B006UVRKWE,B08DTH6BX2,B07MM3RWMN,B0093ARHFO,B07W951F5F,B00E9FAHH8”;

Risotto Cacio e Pepe

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • 190g // 3/4 cup risotto rice (carnaroli, arborio, or calrose rice)
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (heated)
  • 80g // 1 cup grated aged pecorino cheese
  • 2 tsp. cracked pepper
  • 1 pear, peeled and chopped small (optional)
  • Chopped Hazelnuts for topping


  1. First, toast the rice in a dry pan just until it gets a little translucent (a couple minutes at a lower heat).
  2. Then, add the wine and cook it until it disappears (couple minutes).
  3. Add heated broth one ladle at a time, stirring the rice as it cooks. (A wooden spoon is best for this).
  4. Continue to add broth one ladle at a time for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is “al dente” or has a bite to it. Add a small amount of salt if needed but remember the cheese is salty and will be added later.
  5. Meanwhile, toast the cracked black pepper briefly in another pan (1 minute or so), just until you start to smell the pepper. Remove from heat immediately.
  6. When rice is al dente and almost cooked, in a small bowl add about 1/2-1 cup warm broth and 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese. Stir together with a fork to form a thick, creamy sauce.
  7. Place the cooked rice in the pan with the pepper and stir to combine. Then, pour the creamy sauce into the rice. Stir and add more broth if it get’s dry. Add some of the chopped pears at this point too. Stir and add more grated pecorino to the rice. If it gets dry at any point, add more broth and stir in.
  8. Taste and add more salt if needed. If you think it needs flavor, it probably needs salt.
  9. To serve, spoon some risotto on a plate, and top with more pecorino cheese and black pepper. Top with additional chopped pears and hazelnuts if using. Enjoy with a class of white wine. 

More Recipes by Marta: 

To your happy and healthy life, 


Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see it! @chefjoannas 

This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page. 

Leave a Reply