September 19, 2018

No-Box Mac ‘n Cheese

No-Box Mac ‘n Cheese

By Jan Kenney

It’s the beginning of the school year and finding time to cook dinner become more complicated. It is awful easy to resort to boxed meals and fast food — and sometimes there’s no way around that.

I know my kids love boxed mac n’ cheese, and its an easy compromise some days, but they like my homemade version more and its a lot healthier and really, not that much more difficult to make. I also know that it doesn’t contain unhealthy additives or fillers.

In this particular version I add a can of diced tomatoes flavored with garlic and basil. At first they weren’t too sure of the “red chunks” but they’ve grown to accept a little healthy vegetable invading their perennial favorite.

Aunt Jan’s Tomato Mac ‘n cheese

Butter or nonstick cooking spray

2¼ cups uncooked small elbow macaroni

3 cups milk

3 tablespoonsbutter

3 tablespoons flour

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Dash Worchestershire sauce

16 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 can diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Stir macaroni into large pot of boiling salted water; cook for 5 minutes after water returns to boil, or until outside is cooked but center is still firm. Immediately drain in colander and rinse under cold water; set aside.

In saucepan over medium-high heat heat milk to just below simmer.

Reduce heat to low, add flour to butter and whisk over heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, continuing to stir, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients.

Place pasta in baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with extra cheese if desired.

Bade uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden on top and bubbling throughout. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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