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Uni pasta cacio e pepe on a plate with nori and sea urchin

Uni Pasta (Sea Urchin Cacio e Pepe)

Kathleen Higashiyama
Uni Pasta (Sea Urchin Cacio e Pepe) is a rich and creamy twist on traditional cacio e pepe. This uni pasta recipe features cheesy noodles, buttery sea urchin, and strips of salty nori (seaweed). It's an opulent seafood pasta perfect for entertaining or a date night at home.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Japanese
Servings 4
Calories 202 kcal


  • 6 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 10 uni pieces separated
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces pasta spaghetti or bucatini
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter cubed
  • ¾ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano finely grated
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano finely grated
  • 1 tbsp nori cut into thin strips


  • Make the uni crème fraîche - In a food processor, add 6 tablespoons of creme fraiche and 6 pieces of uni. Pulse until creamy and set aside.
  • Boil water - In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and season with kosher salt.
  • Cook the pasta - Add pasta and cook for about 6-7 minutes, or about a minute before al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Set the pasta aside.
  • Heat oil and black pepper - Heat olive oil on medium heat in a skillet or non-stick pan. Then mix in pepper and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add pasta water and noodles - Then, add ½ cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan. Once the water simmers, add spaghetti and swirl in the pasta pepper water with rubber-tipped tongs.
  • Add butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano - Reduce the heat to low and add in butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Use tongs to stir in the butter and cheese in a circular motion to coat the pasta.
  • Add Pecorino Romano and uni cream mixture - Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Pecorino Romano and uni crème fraîche mixture. Use the tongs to toss the pasta until the cheese melts and the pasta is evenly coated. If the pasta is dry, stir in more pasta water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches a saucy consistency.
  • Serve and garnish - Serve the pasta in plates or bowls and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to collect the starchy sauce. Top each serving with the starchy sauce, 2 uni pieces, nori strips, and more black pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Calories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 10gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 720mgPotassium: 256mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 783IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 324mgIron: 1mg
Keyword authentic cacio e pepe, authentic italian pasta, cacio e pepe, creme fraiche, japanese pasta, japanese recipe, sea urchin, sea urchin pasta, seafood pasta, uni, uni cacio e pepe, uni pasta
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