Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Macaroni and cheese comes from the Italian Maccheroni Cacio e Burro, which means “Macaroni and Cheese and Butter,” which will make sense once you see the ingredients I use for my version of this classic dish.
Cooking is NOT hard. You can do it, all you need is a little time, the will to do it and a large glass of wine. See? Easy.
This is a real family favorite, and this recipe is easily adjusted to suit your own personal preferences or family foibles.
No offense to Kraft macaroni and cheese in a box, but this is 110% better, healthier and actually tastes like cheese. Mainly because there’s cheese in it as opposed to “cheese flavored food product” whatever that is. As I mentioned, the Italian name for this dish is actually “macaroni and cheese and butter” and there is a fair amount of butter in this dish. You can use whatever cheese you like for this dish. American or English cheddar, or mix it up and use whatever is in the fridge. The only cheeses I have found NOT to work for this dish are strong blue cheeses. In the pictures, I have used Beaufort for this.
You will need:
- One large saucepan
- One medium saucepan
- One wooden spoon
- One oven proof dish
- A cheese grater (if you don’t have a grater, you can slice the cheese instead)
- One pound dried Macaroni
- A stick of butter (1/4 pound)
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- One pound cheese (almost any cheese will do)
- 1 ½ pints of milk
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder (if you don’t have powder, use a tablespoon of Dijon)
- A bottle of wine
First, open the wine and pour a glass, sip.
Next, cook the pasta. Boil in salted water for one minute less than the instructions on the box. Drain and pour into the oven proof dish.
While the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese and keep to one side. If you don’t have a grater, just slice the cheese into thin strips.
Next, take the small saucepan and melt the butter. When the butter is melted add 4 tablespoons of flour and cook over a medium heat stirring constantly. This is important. Keep stirring, DO NOT STOP STIRRING. Cook for about two minutes.
Take the saucepan off the heat and add the mustard, then pour the milk into the flour and butter, slowly, stirring all the time. This is to stop the sauce going lumpy. If you make a mistake and the sauce does go lumpy, you can save it by using a whisk or a blender.
Now return the saucepan to the heat and bring to a gentle boil. IMPORTANT – Keep stirring.
When the sauce begins to thicken, turn the heat down low and add three quarters of the cheese. Keep stirring. When the cheese has melted, pour the sauce over the pasta and stir it to make sure the pasta is completely covered.
I cannot really say this is one of my healthy pasta recipes, but – who cares? I have used penne pasta, but you can use anything else instead.
Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the mixture and place in a medium hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until the surface goes brown. When it is ready it will look like this:
Serve with a salad, or whatever you like. I served this one with fishcakes (see fishcake recipe) and a sliced Roma tomato.
This recipe makes enough for about eight servings. The reason I do such a large one is that it makes great leftovers and freezes well.
Bon Apetit !