Pici Cacio e Pepe with Marinated Egg Yolk

Okay, this dish has been on my mind for a WHILE. Ever since visiting Tuscany last summer, I knew I needed to try making homemade pici pasta. I’ve played around with the cacio e pepe recipe for quite some time as well + this marinated egg yolk on top is sooo much easier than I anticipated.

How to marinate the egg yolk?

There are a few different methods for marinating egg yolks:

  1. Soy Sauce Marinade
  2. Vinegar Marinade: Using different types of vinegar, such as balsamic, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, combined with a touch of sweetness from honey or maple syrup, can produce a tangy and acidic flavor.
  3. Herb-infused Oil Marinade: Infusing olive oil with fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil, or garlic can create a fragrant and aromatic marinade.

What is Pici Pasta?

Traditional Pici pasta is a rustic and beloved Italian pasta that comes from the region of Tuscany. Pici, pronounced as “pee-chee,” is a type of hand-rolled pasta that stands out for its unique texture, thickness, and hearty flavor.

The Pici dough consists of only flour, some olive oil, water and salt. There are no eggs in this dough (which typically gives pasta a chewy and more dense consistency), and the dough is rolled by hand, resulting in thick – almost spaghetti-like – strands.

This type of pasta is so much fun to make with others! Since you’re rolling each strand by hand, it’s certainly nice to get a few people in the kitchen to help! Each strand will naturally have a slightly different size since we’re hand rolling and that gives each one a unique character.

Once you’ve created the dough, knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. Then just wrap with plastic wrap and set to the side to rest for at least 30 minutes. Resting the dough allows the gluten in the flour to relax, making it easier to work with and resulting in a better-textured pasta.

Hand Rolling the Pici

After resting the Pici dough for at least 30 minutes, divide the dough into small pieces, roughly the size of a walnut.

Time to roll! Take one piece of dough and place it on a floured surface. Use your hands to roll and stretch the dough between your palms to form long, thick noodles. The motion should be similar to rolling a piece of Play-Doh into a rope shape. Work gently to avoid tearing the dough, but don’t worry about making the noodles perfectly uniform – the irregularity is part of Pici’s charm!

Continue rolling the rest of the dough pieces, one by one, until you have a batch of hand-rolled Pici noodles. Dust the noodles with flour as needed to prevent sticking.

What is Cacio e Pepe?

Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish that originated in the city of Rome. Its name literally translates to “cheese and pepper,” which are the two main ingredients that make up the super tasty sauce. Despite its simplicity, Cacio e pepe is beloved for its rich and comforting flavors. It’s one of my FAVES.

Toasting Peppercorns:

Toasting your own peppercorns for Cacio e pepe is a small but significant step that can really elevate the flavor and add a subtle smokiness to the pepper. Toasting them a grinding them right before using them for the sauce also ensures you have the freshest and most potent pepper taste for the dish.

In a dry pan, toast the peppercorns over medium heat and gently shake the pan. Toast for a few minutes until they become fragrant and release their oils (be careful not to burn them!). After you’re finished toasting them, grind them using a mortar and pestle, a pepper mill, or a ziploc bag and a rolling pin!

Pici Cacio e Pepe with Marinated Egg Yolk

This marinated egg yolk adds the most decadent finish to the handmade pici cacio e pepe…
Serves 2


Marinaded Egg Yolks:

  • Egg yolks
  • Soy sauce enough to cover the egg yolks half way


  • 2 1/4 cups flour I like using 00 flour or a mix of 00 flour and semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water with a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp olive

Cacio e pepe:

  • ~1 cup of reserved pasta water
  • 2-3 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pecorino and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


Marinade Egg Yolks:

  • Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and cover with soy sauce in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 2 hours.

Pici Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl or on a clean surface, add the flour and make a well in the middle. Add a drizzle of olive oil, and then gradually add the warm water mixed with a bit of salt to the well. Mix with a fork and continue to add water until the dough starts to come together.
  • Once the dough begins to form, transfer it to a clean and floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. It should become smooth and elastic.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • After resting the dough, cut into small pieces (about the size of a walnut) and roll and stretch each piece between your palms to form the Pici noodles. The motion should be similar to rolling a piece of Play-Doh into a rope shape. Keep them covered in some flour (I like using semolina flour) so they don’t stick together.
  • Once all the Pici are rolled, you can cook them immediately or dry them for later use. To dry them, lay them out in a single layer on a floured surface or a parchment-lined baking sheet and let them air dry for a couple of hours.
  • If cooking right away, get a large pot of water boiling (just lightly salt since we already salted the dough) and boil for only a few minutes.

Cacio e Pepe sauce:

  • Toast peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a few minutes and then grind up.
  • Take some of the starchy pasta water that the pici is boiling in and ladle into a separate pan over medium heat. Add the toasted pepper and two knobs of butter. Stir until this comes together, then add the al dente pici pasta and stir again for another minute.
  • Add the parmesan and pecorino cheese and let sit for a minute without stirring. Remove the pan from the heat, let sit for one more minute and then give a final stir so it all comes together.
  • Plate and serve with marinaded egg yolk!

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