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Creamy One-Pot Mac N’ Cheese
by Nanny Bubby
I feel like my favorite and my kids’ favorite Mac N’ Cheese was always Velveeta, but I stopped giving it to them as soon as I learned Velveeta wasn’t really cheese and it may not even be food at all! For years I tried to duplicate that taste and texture and failed. I tried putting cheese into traditional white sauce recipe, cheese and milk, baking cheese and butter into the pasta, the list goes on. I could never get there. Then one day I realized that Italian chefs use pasta water to make pasta creamier and smoother. One day I just gave it a try and I got close. So, after a lot of experimentation I got there, perfectly. It’s so easy and it is real cheese, real food! Tip: At first this can be quite watery. You can add your favorite vegetable like steamed broccoli or any other vegetables you have on hand, and a little extra milk and serve immediately as a broccoli cheese soup with macaroni. If serving as Mac N’ Cheese, be sure to cover and let sit for 10 minutes so the pasta can absorb the liquid and be the perfect texture. Enjoy!
Total Time:15 minutes
- 2 2/3 c. water
- 2 2/3 c. milk
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 ½ c. sharp cheddar cheese grated
- ½ c. grated Pecorino Romano if you do not care for this taste or your kids don’t, just add an extra ½ cup of the cheddar or parmesan
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- 16 oz. bag of organic elbow macaroni noodles
- Slowly bring the water, milk, butter and kosher salt to a rolling boil.
- Add full bag of pasta, stirring until the liquid comes to a boil again.
- Adjust the heat to keep a slow steady boil and cook the pasta for one minute more than indicated on the box. Do not drain the pasta.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses and paprika. Taste to adjust the salt and pepper to your families liking. The Mac N’ Cheese will be very liquidly, this is normal. Let stand with the top on for at least 10 minutes so the pasta can absorb all the liquid before serving.