Za’atar Cacio Pepe

Add a layer of nuttiness, herbaceousness and all-round goodness, to your classic cacio pepe with our Middle-Eastern twist.

Serves 4-6 (as a Main)

15 Mins Prep

15 Mins Cooking

Forkin’ Easy


400g dried spaghetti or other long pasta
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp. za’atar, plus 1½ teaspoon
2 tsp. black pepper
130g Parmesan, very finely grated (approx 2 cups)
30g pecorino, very finely grated (approx ¼ cup)
7½ tsp. olive oil
2 whole oregano leaves (optional)


  1. Bring water to a boil in a wide saucepan on medium-high heat, then season with salt. Add the spaghetti and cook per package instructions (until al dente). Drain Or remove pasta with tongs, reserving all the cooking pasta water.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan on high heat until bubbling, then add the 1 tbsp za’atar and pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant.
  3. Add the reserved cooking water, bring to a rapid boil, and cook for 5 minutes, until silky and reduced a little.
  4. Add the pasta and stir vigorously into the sauce.
  5. Add the Parmesan in two batches, continuing to stir vigorously as you go and waiting until the first half has melted before adding the next.
  6. Once the Parmesan has all melted, add the pecorino, continuing to stir until it has also melted and the sauce is smooth and silky. Finish with the olive oil if desired, fresh oregano (if using), remaining 1½ tsp za’atar, and a small pinch of salt.
  7. Serve at once with extra grated cheese if desired.