Updated: Jan 13
Cold, rainy, and miserable day? How about easy and great-tasting Mac 'n Cheese to warm you up from within? You're in luck as I just have the recipe for you. You only need six ingredients and about 20 minutes if you bake it with the Panko crumbs. Without crust, all you need is four ingredients and about 15 minutes.
You will also notice there is no salt or pepper in the ingredient list. Mistake? No, it won't need salt and pepper. You can do a taste test just as you stir pasta and sauce together and add seasoning if you like, totally up to you. And always shred your own cheese! Pre-packaged cheese does not melt as well as a block of cheese. I used pre-sliced American cheese for this recipe, and it worked very well.
Now you are set for lunch at least. Let's worry about dinner later. Right? Maybe we eat mac 'n cheese again, add a 16 ounce blackened ribeye steak. That sounds good right now.
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2 tablespoons butter
1 cup plain Panko
2-1/2 quarts water
12 ounces cavatappi pasta or pasta of your choice
2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces yellow American cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400F˚
Melt butter in the microwave and combine with Panko crumbs, and set aside.
In a saucepan or dutch oven, bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, a little longer if you like your pasta soft at the center. Follow the package directions.
While pasta is cooking you can start the sauce by heating heavy cream over medium heat to a low boil. Whisk in cheese and return to a low boil. Simmer the sauce on the lowest setting for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk frequently. Cut the heat and set aside.
Strain pasta in a colander and let drip dry for a couple of minutes. Put pasta in a big bowl and add all of the sauce and stir well. It will be runny at first until the pasta had a chance to absorb some of the sauce.
Fill mac 'n cheese into individual ramekins or serving vessels and sprinkle with Panko crumbs. Bake for about 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Don't need it right away because it's 6:00 am and the kids won't be home until later in the afternoon? No problem. Divide mac 'n cheese into bowls without Panko crumbs, wrap with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator. Microwave when needed. As easy as that!
Serves 3 to 4