Serves 4 | Mediumwho does not love the great Mac & Cheese?! If the fussiest eaters go for this one, then you too will surely love it. This is the most delicious one of the 'safe option' variety! A cheesy dish that is sure to warm your hearts and comfort your souls. This is comfort food at its best.
If you are more into mild cheese flavours, use a very mild cheddar cheese. If you like your cheese and prefer it sharp, then go for aged cheddars or better still go for blue cheese. However, push that envelope and do take this dish to the next level. Go for the gourmet side of things experiment with a different variety of cheeses, makes, countries, artisans and go wild with cheese, for instance think smoked cheeses.
This dish is very easy to make and the best thing about it is that it's open for your creativity. Really, the sky is the limit!
This recipe is the classic, just so I keep it up to you to modify to your own mood ;)
250g either dried Rigatone, manicotti, or maccheroni (otherwise known as macaroni or elbow pasta)
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded strong aged cheddar cheese
1 cups shredded American cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Black Pepper to taste
a pinch nutmeg
a pinch garlic powder
a handful parsley, chopped
1 cup your favourite flavoured breadcrumbs
Cook pasta until Al dente.
While Pasta is cooking, start with the cheese sauce by making a roux:
In a saucepan, cook the onion in hot butter until tender but not browned. Stir in the flour, powdered garlic and pepper. Add the milk at once and keep stirring over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Add the nutmeg, and stir, then add the cheeses and stir until they are melted. Add the drained cooked pasta over the cheese sauce and mix to coat.
Transfer the macaroni and cheese into a casserole dish and sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs.
Bake uncovered in a 350F- 180C oven for 25 mins. let the dish rest for 10 minutes before serving. right before serving sprinkle with chopped parsley.
If you do not wish to bake the Mac n' Cheese, then prepare in the same way, except, immediately after draining the macaroni return it to its empty pan and pour cheese sauce over it and mix to coat. then cook stirring for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. sprinkle tops with chopped parsley.
Let's chat - I have always thought about the foods that we categorise as comfort foods. What makes a food more comforting than the other? Is it the temperature of the food, the texture, the aroma, or the association with memory?
What to you resembles comfort food? Is it the stuff associated to the childhood home, or is it a specific type food? To me definitely the food I ate growing up, especially at days when I feel home-sick or miss my parents who live in another continent... but also comfort to me comes in carbs!! Unlucky for me if rice, pasta or potato are not part that dish is not the comfort category!! finally it definitely has to be at least warm if not served hot. Cold foods are fun, but not comfort foods to me! Tell me about you, anything specific?