15 minutes (30 if you want to bake it)
Makes:As much as you want- you decide!
So you feel guilty when indulging in MAC-N-CHEESE? Your kids love it but, for the sake of speed, you turn to those processed powdery packaged Mac-N-Cheese boxes – yeiks! NO MORE! Mine is HEALTH, ALLNATURAL, RICH, CHEESEY, GOOEY, ANDYUMMY….IT’S THEREALDEAL and in just minutes! ENJOY!
Pasta: a fun tubular shape on the smallish side (no bigger than 3/4" cooked)
Salt: pinch for cooking the pasta
Milk: whole, lowfat, or skim - your choice
Cheeses: a mixture of any and all kinds you love
OPTIONAL: 3/4" slice of Velveeta Cheese
Bring at least a 4 Qt. pot 3/4 filled of water to a hard boil, add a pinch of SALT, add PASTA and cook according to instructions on box using the shorter cooking time if given a range, and reduce it by 1 minute. (The pasta will continue to cook when mixing it with your cheese mixture.)
Simultaneously, in a medium sized saucepan on medium-high heat, pour in some MILK. After a minute or so, it will be warm- crumble or spoon in the variuos cheeses to melt. Stir continuously so the milk doesn’t burn and so the milk and the cheeses blend becoming a thicker and creamy sauce. Use your senses to cook: feel the consistency when you stir, smell if it has a delicious cheesey aroma, look to see if it coats the back of your spoon, taste it to see what you want more of. Continue to add either MILK or CHESSE until you have the right balance of the above FORYOURTASTE! (Remember is needs to be fluid enough to coat the pasta, inside the tubes and out!) TIP: It’s better to be too thick than too thin because you can always add more milk, but cannot melt in more cheese easily once mixed with the pasta.
Strain PASTA and pour into Cheese sauce pot. Carefully fold in the pasta until generously coated. (If it’s too thick, you may still add some milk and stir in gently.)
SERVE and ENJOY for a rich and creamy Mac or if you prefer a drier baked Mac, no problem. Pour it into a greased (Olive Oil spray like PAM) baking dish, sprinkle the top with extra cheese, and bake for about 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree Oven. Test to get the texture you want with a long skewer into the pasta. The cheese on top should be melted and gooey! If you like the “crusty bits” like I do, place it under the broiler for a minute or so watching to ensure it does not burn. Remove and ENJOY! YUUUUUMMMY!
Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.