I remembered this particular piece and Zingerman’s preference for Martelli pasta yesterday while shopping for mac and cheese ingredients. I got Martelli’s maccheroni at Panzano Provvsite e Vino and then two cheeses, raw milk gruyere reserve and borough market cheddar, at Whole Foods along with organic heavy cream. I had parmiggiano and dried porcini at home already but you got the drift – the bill for the dinner was quite hefty but worth every penny – the mac came out truly sublime.
Read on in case you’re interested in recipes for both mac and the side of peppers marinated in grated tomato…
Zingerman’s folks are right – Martelli’s maccheroni are perfect for mac and cheese: size, texture, taste – everything.
The basic recipe (i tweaked it a bit) is by my favorite chef Neil Perry (i have all his cookbooks) and comes from my favorite food magazine Gourmet Traveller. For two individual portions i used the following list of ingredients: about half of the 500g bag of pasta, half pound of gruyere and quarter pound of cheddar coarsely grated, 350ml of heavy cream, crushed clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of dried porcini torn into smaller pieces, sweet hungarian paprika, 2tbs of bread crumbs, 2tbs of grated parmiggiano.
Cook the pasta. In the meantime warm up the cream, add garlic, some paprika, porcini, grated gruyere and cheddar, and cook for 5mins until cheeses are fully melted. Add cooked pasta, and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture between two individual baking dishes (oven to the table), sprinkle with bread crumbs, parmiggiano and paprika, and bake in preheated to 400F oven for about 15mins until the top looks nicely browned and crusty. Sprinkle with julienned parsley before serving.
For marinated peppers – usually i make it with red peppers, but yesterday it was an exercise in yellow hues – so i got about 4 yellow bell peppers, and a yellow tomato. Slice peppers in 1/4" strips, and cook over med heat for about 10mins, then add couple of thinly sliced garlic cloves, s&p, 1/4 cup of julienned mint, pinch of dried italian oregano, and cook some more until peppers are browned on edges but not too limp. Remove from heat into some bowl and mix with grated tomato (discard the skin) and a good red vinegar to taste (about a tbs or so). Let stand at least an hour before serving.