I promised mac and cheese, and I delivered mac and cheese.
So here’s the story: my whole life I never liked mac and cheese. I was a weird little kid who would rather eat ramen raw than a bowl of out-of-the-box mac.
When Ava and I became roommates, she worked at Noodles and Company. One day, she insisted I try their Wisconsin Cheddar with broccoli and cavatapi noodles. I was shocked! I liked macaroni and cheese.
The discovery led me to search out different recipes for mac and cheese. The recipe below is a combination of many recipes, a lot of test trials and some personal preferences.
MAC & CHEESE
- 2 Tbs. Flour
- 2 Tbs. Unsalted butter
- 1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 C. Mozzarella, shredded
- 1/2 C. Colby Jack, shredded
- 1 C. Cheddar, shredded (divided into two 1/2 cups)
- 3 C. Water
- 1/2 Lb. Penne pasta
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Sauce pan or skillet
- 4-quart pot
- Wooden spoon
I like to start by boiling my three cups of water with a pinch of Kosher salt in a pot on the stove top over medium high heat. Next, I warm up my skillet over a medium flame. Just as the pan begins to smoke, add two tablespoons butter. Let the butter melt slowly. Now, slowly add two tablespoons flour to the melted butter. Using your fork, blend together the flour and butter creating a roux.
When the roux is smooth and just beginning to thicken, add one cup heavy whipping cream. Continue whisking the mixture with the fork so the flour remains smooth.
Add the 1/2 pound of Penne pasta to the boiling water. Let boil for seven minutes. Stir occasionally with the wooden spoon.
Add 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup Colby Jack and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese to the sauce in the skillet. Continue stirring as cheese melts. Let the sauce cook for approximately five minutes until it is thick and creamy.
Drain the pasta and put back in pot. When the sauce is thick enough it sticks to the back of a spoon, add to the pasta. Stir pasta and cheese sauce together. Top with remaining cheddar and serve.
Now doesn’t that sound mmm, mmm, good?