The Rai Sat Gambero Rosso channel has cooking shows all day long. During the month of April they featured Jacques Pepin with his show Fast Food My Way. This recipe does not come from his show but it is really fast. Chef Pepin is my new favorite cook and I have ordered a couple of his cookbooks.
When we first came here our 12 year old son really missed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. With all those great flavors in Italy he still missed this food. We used to receive packages with these boxes of mac and cheese inside. Then we tried making it the old fashioned way but sometimes the first taste of a dish is the best taste for life.
One show on Rai Sat Gambero Rosso featured a recipe for macaroni and cheese. It is something that can be whipped up in a flash. I thought this can't be tasty, but I had to try it. They suggest using fresh peppercorns toasted in a skillet on your stove top and then crushed. It might just be the saving flavor of this recipe, as the taste is so mild. We did not have peppercorns and I used black pepper. It did not pop up a taste. Perhaps red pepper flakes would do.
Here is the recipe...
Mac and Cheese Italiano
150 grams pasta
6T pecorino romano or parm cheese grated
1T ricotta cheese
peppercorns toasted and crushed
a bit of pasta water
That is all you need for two persons.
Start the water boiling and add the pasta. Put grated cheese and ricotta in a blender or food processor and whirl..add small amounts of pasta water to form sauce. Be careful with the amount of water ..don't over do. It needs to be creamy. Use the best cheese you can get as the Parmesan in those cardboard containers aren't so tasty. It works but it was mild. Something you could feed to a child or hospital patient. It needed the red pepper flakes. Put this sauce into a pan and then add the pasta and stir together. We scraped the bowl to put every last drop on the top.