Dinner time rolled around and I was rushing to come up with something to make. It was 7:30 or so and our stomachs were growling. I had meant to go grocery shopping the day before but with so many things going on I didn't have time to. Finally after analyzing the contents of our refrigerator, freezer, pantry and cabinets, I realized the only thing I felt like making was some sort of pasta dish. I grabbed my recipe binder and flipped to this macaroni and cheese recipe. I was pleasantly surprised and a little relieved to see that it would only take 20 minutes to make and that I had everything it called for. Of course I always like to change things up, so some of the additions I made include the ground mustard and the ham. We served this up with BLT sandwiches, but I'm sure it would go great with just about anything!
Traditional Macaroni & Cheese
2½ c. noodles (cavatappi, fusilli, shells, elbows)
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 c. whole milk
¼ c. heavy cream
3 tsp. flour
1 tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. lemon juice
¹⁄₈ tsp. ground mustard
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. thick cut ham, chopped (optional)
1. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente (cut cooking time about 1 minute short). Turn heat off, remove from stovetop, drain water and return noodles back to the pot. Set aside.
2. To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour and let cook for 1-3 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly pour in milk and cream, continue whisking. Allow mixture to come to a simmer. Meanwhile, grate cheese and toss with cornstarch.
3. Reduce mixture heat to medium-low. Begin to sprinkle in cheese, whisk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, mustard, pepper, salt and ham. Allow to cook for 3-5 more minutes. Pour hot mixture over warm pasta. Toss and serve immediately.
Adapted from Simply Recipes- Simple Macaroni and Cheese | Makes approximately 4 servings