Personal chef and culinary host Natasha Feldman is adding writers to her repertoire.
Feldman joins “Good Morning America” to talk about her new cookbook, “Dinner Party Planning,” and shares two new recipes for home cooks.
The creators of “Nosh with Tash” share a savory and a sweet treat that’s perfect for summer.
Check out the full recipe below.
Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese
“The first time I had cacio e pepe, a pasta dish aptly called ‘cheese and pepper’ because it’s made with just pasta, pecorino and black pepper, I was skeptical,” she says. “How can so few ingredients be so impressive? Then I believe I passed out and didn’t come back until I ate the whole plate of pasta and plate. It’s amazing how often the best recipes and the best flavors come together, From simple, good ingredients. Since macaroni and cheese is an easy way to make a lot of pasta for a crowd, I wanted to put these two friends together and I’m happy with the result. This mix has the character of a basic white sauce (béchamel ) with freshly ground pepper, lots of pecorino, and toasted breadcrumbs!”
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for finish
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound medium crust pasta
2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (1/2 lb), plus extra for finishing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Make the crumbs: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until about half of the crumbs are toasted a nice golden brown, about 4 minutes. Set the crumbs aside.
To make macaroni and cheese: Fill the same pot halfway with water, add 3 teaspoons of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. While the pasta water is boiling, make the sauce. In a second pot over medium-low heat, add 1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. (Yes, the pepper becomes super aromatic very quickly. Yes, this is basically DIY pepper spray.) Add 4 tablespoons of butter and heat until melted. Stir in 1/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly, while whisking constantly, add 3.5 cups of milk to create a smooth, thin sauce. The sauce will thicken before it thins; keep stirring! Reduce the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally.
This is probably the perfect time to drop the pasta into the boiling, salty water. Cook pasta according to package directions. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon easily. Remove pot from heat and stir in 2 cups pecorino.
When the pasta is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the pot with the sauce. Don’t throw away the pasta water. Return the pasta/sauce pot to the stovetop and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce. Season with additional pasta water. (It’s salty, remember? And starch, which will help create a sauce that coats the pasta well. Win-win.)
Pour macaroni and cheese into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle tops with bread crumbs and a generous pinch of black pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are a deep golden brown.
Top it off with some extra pecorino cheese for extra zest. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving – a burnt mouth is a big dinner party grievance.
Cheesy pasta is always the freshest. In a pinch, you can make the sauce ahead of time and add the pasta water to thin it out before tossing the pasta in. The crumbs can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
The less water you use to cook your pasta, the more starchy and flavorful your pasta water will be.
If you can’t find pecorino, can you use parmesan? Yes, your dish will be less salty and pungent, and a little wilder. . . but still super tasty.
Obviously there’s a lot of pepper in there, so if you have a coffee grinder, this is the most efficient way to get the amount you need.
Total time: 5 hours (including 4¼ hours of mostly hands-off freezing)
“Granita — a type of Italian shaved ice — is something magical,” she says. “It somehow strikes the perfect balance between tangy, creamy, refreshing, and icy. When I first tested this recipe, I made it with only oranges (using orange Julius as my inspiration). But I found This recipe was also always a little bit icy, not as exciting as I would like it to be. Then I got really serious about this nostalgic orange julius, creamy popsicle flavor and I thought, “Aha! peach! “That’s when the magic happened. The peaches added a subtle sweetness and, more importantly, helped to create a creamy texture—perfect.”
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh orange juice (3 to 4 oranges)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups chopped ripe juicy peaches (about 3 peaches)
1 large orange, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
Fruit, such as sliced oranges or peaches, optional
To make the granita: Make room in the refrigerator for a 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Leave it there to cool before using. In a small saucepan, combine ¾ cup sugar, ¾ cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ¼ teaspoon salt over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. on hold. In a blender or food processor, puree peaches and oranges with 1 tablespoon lemon juice until smooth, about a minute. Add the sugar mixture in the pot to the blender and blend again.
Pour the granita mixture into the freezer baking dish. Every hour over the course of about 4 hours (or until the granita is frozen), stir/scrape the mixture with a fork until it reaches the bottom of the dish and forms small crumbs.
Optional (but heavenly): Before serving, pour the granita into a blender or food processor and process until very smooth and almost sticky, like sorbet. Divide granita smoothie between 6 cups, then refrigerate cups for 5 to 30 minutes before serving.
To make the whipped topping: Use a hand mixer to whip 1 cup of cream to medium peaks — no sugar needed. Spread the cream evenly over the granita. Top with fruit as desired and serve.
tips and times
Make the granita up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s fully fluffed before tucking it into bed for a week. Whip the cream for 4 hours before serving, then place in a bowl in the refrigerator and cover with plastic wrap.
If it’s not peach season, use frozen peaches!
Recipe reproduced with permission from Natasha Feldman’s “Dinner Project.” Copyright © 2023 Natasha Feldman. Reproduced with permission from Harvest, a HarperCollins Publishers company.