Friday, May 2, 2008

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is the comfort food of a lifetime. My great grandmother made it, my grandmother had her recipe, and my mom had her own version. The way I make it is to minimize saturated fat, but sometimes when I've been sick I'll cook it the way my mom did (plenty of butter). This dish actually became quite well known among my college friends as well; leftovers were rare in those days! However, this does preserve well for a few days, so don't be afraid to put the excess in tupperware for later. Try this on a cold day when you need a hearty warming side dish.

I use olive oil in this dish, but a lot of people don't like the flavor of EVOO. Feel free to substitute vegetable oil or, God forbid, butter.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


2c lowfat milk
1/4c olive oil
1/2c shredded sharp cheddar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
salt to taste

Heat the milk and oil in a double boiler or over low heat in a small saucepan. When hot, add flour and stir well. Continue stirring and adding cheese and salt. Set aside to cool.

1 box (12 oz dry) penne pasta
1c shredded sharp cheddar
1/4c bread crumbs + 1 tbsp melted butter (optional)

Boil and drain penne. Combine with sauce, and spread in a "9 x "9 baking pan or casserole dish. Top with cheddar and bread crumbs if desired. Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly; set aside to cool for 20 minutes. Cooling is important, as it makes the macaroni "scoopable". Enjoy!

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