It's a winter favourite because this pasta is perfect for baked dishes and in particular for my version of Mac and Cheese.
The cheese used is a vital part and this time I'm using something a little different - baby smoked Provolina
This is a cows milk, stretched curd cheese - a bit firmer than mozzarella and imbued with a wonderful smoked flavour. To add a bit more substance to the dish, I've also added peas and sautéed slices of Kassler.
Maccheroni and Smoked Provolina
200 grams maccheroni
finely sliced Kassler
baby smoked provolina, grated
parmesan, finely grated
1 to 1½ cups béchamel sauce, made with smoked provolina
Kassler unlike bacon is a fairly lean product, it's either cured pork loin or neck. I get it sliced as finely as possible and then sauté it in a non-stick pan until browned. You could always replace this with bacon or pancetta.
When the pasta is almost cooked, add in the peas to just blanch them. Drain them with the pasta and then place in a large bowl.
Tip in about half the béchamel, season with some white pepper and stir well. Add the sautéed kassler and fold them gently through the mix. Spread this out into a baking dish and top with the remaining béchamel. Sprinkle over with a mix of grated smoked provolina and parmesan.
Bake in a preheated 170°C oven until golden.