Mac ‘n Cheese is a classic American dish, loved world-over. And my household is no different! My little sister is a crazy fan of this dish, so are my best friends and the hubby, is always up for it. I have made different variants of the classic version. But here I’m sharing the homely, baked, mac ‘n cheese.
Macaroni: 1 cup/ 250 gms
Milk: 1/2 cup
Monterey Jack Cheese: 1/2 cup shredded + some for topping
Mild Chedder Cheese: 1/2 cup shredded + some for topping
Herbs: 2 tbsps mixed herbs (oregano, pepper, parsley, salt)
Butter: 1 tbsp
Flour: 2 tbsps
*Mushrooms: 6-8 button mushrooms
Recipe Update: Cook 250 gms Pasta in 250-300 ml of milk, instead of going for the traditional method given below to get a creamy consistency.
This ensures that the starch in the pasta is also retained instead of being drained away with the water.
Cook 250 gms pasta in 2-2.5 litres of boiling water with 2 tsp salt. (My standard measure is 1ltr water per 100 gms pasta and 1 tsp salt. No need of adding oil or vinegar to it) Cook it till it’s al-dente and you can easily cut the pasta with a spoon. Drain out the water and wash the pasta under cool water so that it stops cooking. Keep it aside till you prepare the sauce.
*If you’re adding mushrooms, saute it in 1-2 tsps of olive oil. Wait till the water evaporates and season it with salt & pepper.
For the sauce, add butter to a pan. Make sure the pan is not too hot. The butter should not start spluttering or frothing immediately. Once the butter melts, add the flour and mix so that there are no lumps.
Now add in the milk, mushrooms and shredded cheeses. Mix well.
Let the sauce thicken. Keep the flame on low-medium.
Once thick, add in the herbs. Mix it and add in the pasta.
At this stage, you can serve your dish topped with the remaining cheese and some fresh parsley.
Alternatively, you can bake it further.
Transfer it to a microwave safe dish. Top it with the remaining shredded cheese and give it an egg wash. If you want, you can skip the egg wash.
Bake it for 8-10 mins at 170°C .
Garnish with some parsley or greens and serve warm!
**You can also add bacon strips, cooked in butter!