Quarantine snacking is real. I’ve downed many bags of potato chips throughout the six months I’ve been into voluntary isolation. Many packs of cookies, too along with an assortment of snacks. They are just so comforting.
I cook three times a day, seven days a week. So anything I can eat without exerting too much effort is a blessing.
Enter entrepreneur Rissa Mananquil Trillo’s five-minute mac and cheese recipe. I love pasta and haven’t met anyone who doesn’t (I know, I need to expand my social horizon). Of the 21 meals I cook in a week, at least a third are pasta or noodle recipes (thanks to my New York Times Cooking subscription). On average, I spend about an hour to prep food. The fastest I can cook is a 15-min soy butter pasta dish I think we all should have at least once in our lifetime.
So imagine my glee when I found out I can make a more comforting version of cacio e pepe (yes, I do think it is just a glorified version of mac and cheese) in just five minutes and with ingredients I already have. And there is no confusing measurement math to keep in mind (Dear NYT Cooking, save me the math and make recipes fit for two or fewer servings)!
You just need equal half-cup parts macaroni, grated cheese (preferably a mix of sharp and creamy kinds) and water, a splash of milk (approx. ¼ cup), salt and pepper to taste and a microwave oven-safe mug.
Start by combining macaroni and water seasoned with salt in a mug then microwave for two to three minutes. Once that’s done, take it out and mix in grated cheese and sprinkle with pepper. Microwave for another 30 seconds and voila! You have a single serving of mac and cheese. You can, of course, cook more simultaneously depending on your microwave oven’s capacity—for yourself or to share.
Rissa or whoever taught her this recipe, thank you for doing God’s work on Earth. Humanity owes you.
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