I don’t even know where to begin with this post. Mac and cheese is who I am. If I chose my last meal, it would have to be on it. I’ve eaten it pretty much every week of my life (except for that one month I did Whole 30 and let me tell you, that was THE hardest thing to give up). I have eaten it with every and any noodle available, whether it made sense or not. Every type of cheese, whether it clumped up or not. I feel like this is a Doctor Seuss thing ….. “I would eat it any where. On a boat. On a float. With bad cheese. In a breeze. With any noodle. Over a strudel.” (I’ll save you and stop there).
If I have what in our house we simply call cheese pasta on the brain, there’s no stopping me.
My mother never had much of a routine when it came to cooking, meaning we didn’t have “Sunday night Spaghetti dinner” or “Taco Tuesday” growing up. The closest thing to a food routine that we had was the ‘lazy pizzas’ that she made on her second cleaning day of the week (yes, she had two, don’t ask), when she didn’t want to dirty the kitchen and would smear sauce and cheese over a baguette, broil it, and leave it for dinner for dad and I while she soaked in a bath for two hours and I watched Donny & Marie Osmond while munching on my pizza baguette.
And this. I am pretty sure that I ate it at every lunch-time during my early school years. I had the luxury of living literally across the street from my school, so I went home every day to cheese pasta and the Flintstones.
For the thousands of time I have made this, I have never measured how much butter, milk, and cheese. So after a few of you have asked me to blog about it, I guessed I would sacrifice my salad for lunch and measure. All for you.
But, I have something to add. And I haven’t even told my mom this. My neighbor and friend recently cleaned out her pantry of sugars and things and I ended up with quite a few cans of evaporated milk. I probably never use evaporated milk. So I googled what to do with it all. One of the first things I noticed is that it’s a creamier substitute for real milk and to use it in cheese pasta sauces.
So I did. And, um, it’s fantastic. It makes it soooooooo creamy without doing the roux (which I NEVER did in my cheese pasta anyway). I thought it would taste funny, it doesn’t. WHY DIDN’T I KNOW THIS BEFORE?
I have also recently started buying my pasta noodles from a little Italian shop in town. The difference between those noodles and the store-brand is huge, they are SO much better tasting. So much so that my husband and son, who pretty much never wanted any of my cheese pasta, are now on board. (I’m actually not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.)
I could blab on and on for hours, telling stories revolving my cheese pasta. I’ll spare you so you can go and try this now. I’m not saying it’s fancy, it’s not. But it’s kept me happy for the last 45 years or so, so I’ll take that as a win.
And now, I’m off to the gym because I may have finished the pot for lunch.
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk (or regular milk, it will just be a little less creamy)
- 2 1/2 cups cheddar (my kids like orange, I like sharp, Monterey Jack works great)
- 2 TAB butter
- 250 grams pasta (pick a fun noodle, like a small shell or fusilli, something that the sauce can get all stuck to)
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook your noodles until al dente, drain, do not rinse. In the same pot, melt butter and add milk and cheeses, salt and pepper to taste. Stir a few times until cheese melts, which only takes a few minutes. Add pasta, combine well and serve immediately.
Serves 2 hungry people.