Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

There aren't many dishes more important to master than an awesome and easy macaroni and cheese.

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Not only will it rival demands for Kraft Dinner, but it's a perfect make-ahead freezer meal. Just reheat for an easy lunch or dinner.

And it's apparently really, really hilarious. 

This recipe uses orzo, one of my favourite pastas to use when cooking for kids. The small pieces look like giant rice, and it can be scarfed down without the same choking hazard as larger pasta shapes. Plus it doesn't lose shape when you heat it back up! The sauce combines two types of cheese, a lower fat milk, and a few key spices. 

Oh, and did I mention it's all made in one pot? Doesn't get much more convenient than that!

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

1 package of orzo pasta
1 cup pasta water
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup parmesan, finely grated
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk (I use 1 or 2%)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste 

Bring water to boil in a large bowl. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, keeping a cup or two of the pasta water, and set aside. 

In the now-empty pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, and stir until well mixed and it begins to brown. Quickly whisk in the milk and make sure all the flour lumps are gone.

Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Keep stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens. Reduce the heat to low and add the cheese, stirring until smooth. Taste to make sure you have the spices and salt just right.

Stir in the cooked orzo noodles until well coated with the sauce, and add the pasta water if it's too thick.

That's it!


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