Add pasta, butter, smashed garlic, mustard, hot pepper sauce, 1/2 cup heavy cream, salt, pepper and water (or chicken broth) to pressure cooker cooking pot.
Lock on lid and close Pressure Valve. Cook at High Pressure (most machines default to high) for 2 minutes.
When Beep is heard, wait 5 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
Give the pasta a good stir.
Add the rest of the heavy cream and mix in. The macaroni will continue to absorb and adding half the milk after pressure cooking will help distribute the cheese better.
Sprinkle cheese on top of pasta in three parts, allowing the cheese to begin to melt before mixing it through the macaroni. Mix cheese through and then repeat twice more.
If a softer macaroni is desired, turn pot to saute and simmer until done.
Top with Crispy Bacon Topping, if desired.
You won't taste the mustard or hot sauce as spicy hot; those two ingredients simply add a layer of depth, so don't leave them out!
Type of Cheese
Gruyère, Smoked Gouda, or combination of melting cheese is great to use too.
Allow cheese to melt on top of pasta for a minute, before stirring it in. This will prevent the cheese from accumulating at the bottom of the pot and clumping.
Amount of cheese is a personal preference, so start with the lower amount and add more, until desired amount is achieved.
Use any of your favorite kinds of cheese and be creative.
If heavy cream is not available, replace with 1 cup whole milk + 2 Tablespoons butter.
If using evaporated milk instead of cream, reduce butter to 1/2 stick.
If using anything other than heavy cream, add it in AFTER pressure release, as opposed to adding it in with the dry pasta and reduce cook time by 1 minute.
This Old Gal's Pasta Rule of Thumb
Any type of pasta or semolina noodle is fine to use in this recipe.
Look at package of pasta and find the variable cook time. Choose the lesser time given and then subtract 2 minutes. For example, if your package of pasta says "cook for 8 - 11 minutes," take that 8 minute number and cut it in half, which is 4. Then subtract 2 minutes from the 4 minutes and you will end up with the proper cook time. In this case the cook time will be 2 minutes.
If the variable cook time on your package of pasta is 11 - 16 minutes, err on the lesser side. In this instance, the cook time would be 3 minutes. It is better to end up with overly firm pasta rather than mushy because you can continue to cook the pasta, but if it is mushy, there is nothing you can do to correct.
After the two minute pressure cook time is up, wait 5 minutes and then release the rest of the pressure.
f the pasta is too firm or al dente for your taste, simply put the lid back on the pot and let the pasta sit in the hot pot. The residual heat will continue to cook the pasta. Check after a few minutes to see if the pasta has reached the perfect firmness for your liking. If not give it a stir and let sit some more.
Brand of pasta matters. Some pasta holds up better under pressure so buy the best type that you can afford.De Cecco Cavatappi Pasta is not only a great brand of pasta to use, but the style of pasta is wonderful as an alternative to elbow macaroni as, like the elbows, it also holds cheese in the twists and makes for a better cheesy bite. Bite = squirt of cheese! I suggest buying the DeCecco Five Pack Cavatappi from Amazon because the price is much better than buying in a local grocery store.If doubling the recipe, please reduce cook time by 1 minute as the pot will take longer to come to pressure (the pasta is cooking as the pot is coming to pressure) and you don't want to end up with mushy pasta. If the pasta is too hard for your taste after pressure cooking, just simmer in the pot until you reach YOUR perfection. You cannot fix mushy, but you can fix overly al dente.If making and browning the crispy topping, either cook the topping in cast iron or sprinkle ingredients onto top of the macaroni and use a Mealthy CrispLid to brown.