Rigatoni with Pecorino Cheese Sauce

Indulge in the rich and luxurious flavors of Italy with our Rigatoni with Pecorino Cheese Sauce recipe! This creamy and decadent pasta dish features al dente rigatoni coated in a velvety sauce made with aged Pecorino cheese, creating a symphony of flavors that will delight your taste buds. Perfect for a cozy dinner at home or a special occasion, this dish is simple to prepare yet elegant enough to impress even the most discerning palates. Let’s dive into the recipe and discover how to make this irresistible Italian classic that’s sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.



  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Extra Pecorino cheese, grated (for serving)



  1. Cook the Rigatoni: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Cheese Sauce: In a separate saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the all-purpose flour to create a roux. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it turns a light golden brown color.
  3. Add the Milk: Gradually pour in the whole milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the Cheese: Reduce the heat to low and add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese to the sauce, a handful at a time, stirring until melted and smooth. If the sauce is too thick, gradually add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  5. Season to Taste: Taste the cheese sauce and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Keep in mind that Pecorino cheese is naturally salty, so you may not need to add much additional salt.
  6. Combine Pasta and Sauce: Add the cooked rigatoni pasta to the cheese sauce, tossing gently to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce.
  7. Serve and Garnish: Transfer the creamy rigatoni with Pecorino cheese sauce to serving plates or a large serving bowl. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and an extra sprinkle of grated Pecorino cheese.
  8. Enjoy: Serve the pasta immediately while it’s still hot, and enjoy the rich and indulgent flavors of this classic Italian dish!


Tips for Success:

  • Use High-Quality Cheese: For the best flavor and texture, opt for freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Avoid pre-grated cheese, as it may contain anti-caking agents that can affect the sauce’s consistency.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the sauce becomes too thick upon standing, simply add a splash of milk or reserved pasta cooking water and stir until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Freshly Ground Pepper: For an extra burst of flavor, use freshly ground black pepper rather than pre-ground pepper. The aroma and flavor of freshly ground pepper will elevate the dish.



  • Add Pancetta or Bacon: For added richness and depth of flavor, sauté diced pancetta or bacon until crispy and sprinkle it over the finished pasta before serving.
  • Incorporate Fresh Herbs: Stir in chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, or chives for a pop of freshness and color.
  • Top with Toasted Breadcrumbs: For added texture and crunch, toast breadcrumbs in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil until golden brown, then sprinkle them over the pasta just before serving.


With our Rigatoni with Pecorino Cheese Sauce recipe, you can bring the authentic flavors of Italy to your dinner table with ease. Creamy, cheesy, and utterly delicious, this indulgent pasta dish is sure to impress. So, grab your ingredients, whip up a batch of this decadent pasta, and savor every luxurious bite of creamy rigatoni goodness!

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