It comes in so many iterations. Mom used to make it from scratch when I was growing up. Mixing cheese, macaroni milk and butter and baking until crusty on top. The crispy, crunchy cheese parts were the best. It was never as good reheated but I ate it and loved it still.
Then came Kraft. Ah the blue box. So easy to boil the pasta and then stir together milk, butter and fluorescent powdered cheese. The secret; mix in real cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and of course a squirt of ketchup. What, just me?
Time goes by and now everything is a mix in, bacon, truffles, chiles. Too good for humble elbows, use penne, cavatappi or some pasta I’ve never heard of. I’ll still take it any way I can get it. EXCEPT…not a box. Why? It’s way too easy to make at home. Easier than a detour down that grocery aisle and finding the box and throwing it in the cart. Really. It’s exactly like making it from a box, only no weird chemical color. Plus it’s the perfect double dish. Serve it plain to the kids and then stir in bacon and truffle oil for a luxe side to that prime bone-in ribeye you’re having for dinner. Perfect with a glass of cabernet or if you don’t like cab, a zinfandel. Since you’re spending all your money on the steak keep it affordable with a bottle of Ravenswood Vintner’s Zinfandel. Big flavor and no tannins.
- 8 oz uncooked macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup milk
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar
- Cook macaroni according to directions on package. Drain into a colander and return empty pot to stove over medium low heat.
- Add butter to pot and melt.
- Add flour to pot and stir until incorporated into butter, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly add milk to pot, stirring constantly to keep flour from clumping. Increase to medium and stir until it boils, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. Stir macaroni into pot. Add shredded cheese and stir until completely melted.