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Recipes Written For Chefs: An Italian Summertime Spin On Mac & Cheese

Chefs love to serve others with their gift for cooking and presentation, but hate to cook for themselves. They tend to get burned out when it comes to actually feeding themselves. On shoot days, personally, I don’t even want to eat and when I was a chef, I never ate while cooking. You intermittently taste test foods as you go and by the end of the day, you feel a little sick of food.

Today, I primarily cook to prepare art for the camera – and that energizes me! When I cook and shoot for “myself”, meaning I am creating artwork for content purposes and not for a client, I typically create an “easy” recipe.

If you are like me, you are always looking for both easy and flavorful recipes. I thought I would start sharing my creations with you. Keep in mind that these days I am not cooking for taste, so I am hoping I have not lost my touch haha! I am confident that you will be able to tweak the recipes by the way I am sharing them with you.

I have made the following recipe before and I forgot how much I love it! It is a summertime spin on mac and cheese with an Italian flair (of course, because that is my favorite cuisine on earth!)

Finally, welcome to the inside of my brain! ;-) I am writing these recipes specifically for you, Chef! There are minimal descriptions and no measurements because I know you are like me and will likely skim over the ingredients to get a feel for its essence. Then, you’ll add your own special touch to the dish!

It has been a hot minute since I actually wrote a recipe, so please forgive me if I am a bit rusty, but this dish is so good it was worth coming out of retirement. Let me know if you try it! Enjoy!

Honey-Peach Ricotta Penne with Simple Grilled Chicken

For the chicken:

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts

  • Kosher Salt

  • Pepper

  • Onion Powder

  • Olive Oil (optional)

Grill it up! I use oil when I use my electric grill.

For the pasta:

  • Penne Pasta (no oil in the water please!)

  • Oil for the pan

  • Yellow Onion

  • Fresh Garlic (I used 2 cloves)

  • Onion Powder (just a dusting)

  • Kosher Salt

  • Pepper

  • Honey

  • Peaches (fresh or frozen, not canned)

  • Chicken stock (just a little to deglaze the pan and thicken)

Brown the garlic and onion first, then add the peaches already tossed in the honey. You may need a little more salt than you think, be sure to taste test.

  • Fresh Basil

  • Fresh Lemon

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • Mascarpone Cheese (I used about 4 oz)

  • Ricotta Cheese (drained) (about 1.5 cups)

Toss the penne in with the onions and peach mixture. Keep heat on low while you fold in the cheeses and basil. Just before serving add lemon to wake it up and toss once more.

Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and basil.

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