When you have awesome children, you get to enjoy their awesome friends :)
My daughter's friend, Sarah, is tons of fun, loves literature, teaches piano to multiple students, and knows how to play the pipe organ.
Now, how many 20-somethings do you know who play the pipe organ?
I told you - she's awesome!
And on top of all of this, she also cooks!
I've fallen in love with her macaroni and cheese. This is no ordinary mac 'n' cheese - no yellow powder, no ho-hum flavor, no buttered crumbs to give it interest -
This recipe doesn't need any help to wow your socks off!
Here's Sarah's recipe:
1 box (16 oz.) rotini pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/8-1/4 cup minced onion (depending on your taste. I prefer 1/4 cup myself)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
4 oz. processed cheese (velveeta)
4 oz. cheese #1 (I use a mild cheddar)
4 oz. cheese #2 (I use pepperjack)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Cook noodles al dente, drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add onions, cooking until transparent. Do NOT allow the butter to burn. Once the onions are cooked, add flour, then slowly whisk in the milk (to avoid clumping the flour). Add cheeses, and remaining ingredients, all 3 cheeses cubed to melt faster. Once cheeses are completely melted and the mixture has thickened, fold in pasta.
Pour into ungreased casserole dish.
Bake in preheated oven until the top just begins to brown, about 10-20 minutes.
Now, if you notice in Sarah's list of ingredients, you have a lot of wiggle room in the kinds of cheeses you use. We use her suggested Pepper Jack and Mild Cheddar, but sometime I'm going to branch out. What would this taste like with a Colby-Jack and a Sharp Cheddar?
Sarah's recipe calls for Rotini pasta. I like to make it with Radiatorre. Both kinds of pasta have folds and swirls to hold the delicious sauce.
Of course, when I made it this time I was out of either of those, so I used elbow macaroni.
And no, it didn't affect the taste at all ;D
I usually bake the pasta for the full 20 minutes - I like the top browned and the whole thing nice and hot.
Warning - if you don't have growing boys at home (or boys who think they're growing), expect to have leftovers.
But that's okay. This stuff reheats fabulously.