Italian Mac and Cheese

 ©, Laura Pazzaglia

©, Laura Pazzaglia

YIELD: 2-4 SERVINGS | PREP: 5 Min | COOK: 15 Min | TOTAL TIME: 15 Min

This is is a super-easy Italian version of mac and cheese. You can also follow the same instructions to pressure cook pasta to mix with your own sauce. The advantage of using the pressure cooker here is that you’re using less water (not a full pot) so it doesn’t just cook faster, comes to a boil faster too! You can halve this recipe and follow the instructions to just cover the pasta with water – the cooking time does not change. If you use a different pasta shape change the cooking time to half of the recommended cooking time noted on the package. 


  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • 16 oz package of pipes, elbow macaroni, penne, or short tubular pasta 
  • 2 tsp sea salt 
  • about 3 c water (see instructions) 
  • 8 oz sheep or cow milk Ricotta 
  • 1 sprig of parsley or basil, finely chopped 
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, or to taste 
  • ½ c Pecorino Romano 


  1. To the pressure cooker, add the olive oil, pasta, salt and just enough water to just cover the pasta. Smooth the pasta out with a spatula to get an even layer and submerge as much pasta in as little water as possible. 
  2. Close the pressure cooker, again. Set the valve on the lid to “Steam Seal”. Press [Manual Setting], [Cooking Time] and then use the [-] button to choose 4 minutes pressure cooking time. Then, press [Pressure Level] and use the [-] button to select “Low Pressure”. When time is up, press [Keep Warm/Cancel] button to turn off the cooker and twist the valve on the lid to the “Steam Exhaust” portion. 
  3. Lift out the insert, take it to the sink and pour out about half of the cooking water. In the remaining pasta and water mix in the ricotta cheese and parsley or basil. Top each bowl with abundant Pecorino Romano cheese and pepper and serve immediately.