When it comes to delicious comfort food, few things hit the spot as well as a nice bubbling dish of macaroni and cheese. While it’s also very easy to make, there’s just something about the dish that tends to take us back to our childhood. With each cheesy bite, we feel the warmth and the love that we remember from our family growing up—not to mention the incredible creamy taste. Still, we all have our own ways of preparing this dish.
Although we probably all started off with some Kraft macaroni and cheese as kids, we eventually move past the processed foods into making our own cheesy versions. Still, we often make it in an Americanized way, maybe with cheddar or Colby Jack cheese. There are obviously tons of varieties of mac and cheese but sometimes it pays to keep it simple and take it back to its Italian roots. For these reasons, today we’re bringing you a simple and delicious /Italian mac and cheese that is melt-in-your-mouth creamy. One try of this and you might rethink your entire mac and cheese philosophy. So what are we waiting for?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of whole milk (or 2% milk)
- 1 pound of dry mini penne pasta
- 8 ounces of Italian blend shredded cheese (or you can make your own)
- 1/3 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
Here’s what you do:
1. To kick things off, get a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Follow the instructions on the pasta package to cook the noodles until they’re al dente. Drain your pasta when it’s done and set it aside. Still, continue on to the next steps while your pasta is cooking so everything can be ready to eat at the same time!
2. With your pasta boiling, get a medium saucepan going over medium-high heat and melt in some butter. Add your flour and Italian seasoning and whisk it all together for about two minutes until you cook out any flour taste in it. Add in your milk and keep whisking but more slowly now, letting everything thicken.
3. When the milk has combined with the rest of your roux, add in your shredded cheeses and keep whisking everything together until the cheeses melt. The result should be a thicker, creamy cheese sauce.
4. When your noodles are done, pour your cheese sauce over them and stir everything up so that it’s all evenly coated. The sauce with thicken even more as it cools off, leaving you with some deliciously cheesy noodles!
While mac and cheese is often known as an indulgent meal that really packs in all the flavor and the carbs, this variety shows a little bit of restraint while still delivering a perfectly balanced cheesy flavor. At the end, feel free to add a little salt to taste or crack in some fresh pepper as well for a little bit of spice. If you have some freshly chopped herbs to add, those wouldn’t hurt, either.
Although this version mostly keeps things simple, there’s always room to add and experiment. Play around with the cheese blend you use—nicer and fresher is always better than the pre-shredded bags. Above all, make sure you have a healthy helping of mozzarella in whatever you use. If you want to add some vegetables, you can add some frozen ones to your boiling pasta about five minutes before the entire recipe is done to finish everything off at the same time. You can always add some cooked shredded chicken in there, as well. We leave it up to you. Above all, enjoy this recipe and let us know how it goes!
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Source: The Slow Roasted Italian