Tonight, while organizing my cupboards, I decided to put some of the things I was taking out to good use. This barebones macaroni and cheese recipe is an ideal comfort food, and beats the boxed variety by miles. This recipe is from Cook for Good.
You will need:
- 2 cups macaroni
- half a stick of butter
- 1 (small) onion
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- 120g old (sharp) cheddar cheese
Toss the macaroni into a pot, and fill it with enough water to cover the pasta and then some — about 3 cups. Add a dash of salt to the water. Set the pot to a high heat, cover it, and bring it to a boil. Once it boils reduce the heat so it remains at a low boil for about ten minutes. The package should tell you precisely how long to cook it for, but I find it easiest just to check it myself by eating a noodle or two.
Noticing a pattern from previous recipes? Pasta, beans, and rice are often all cooked the same way.
Meanwhile, set a pan to medium heat and drop in your butter.
While the butter melts and your pasta pot boils, chop up an onion. You don’t have to be real precise here.
Your butter should melt fairly quickly. Once it does, toss in the onion you just chopped.
Give the onion a few minutes to soften in the butter, stirring it occasionally. When you’re not stirring, grab your cheese and cut it into smaller pieces. I had a bit of old red and extra-old white cheddar, so I used some of both.
At this point (I must have been slow) my pasta had finished cooking. If this happens to you, drain the water and remove it from the heat to prevent it from overcooking.
Once your onion has cooked a little in the butter, add two tablespoons of flour to the pan and stir to incorporate it.
Wait about a minute and add one cup of milk to the pan. From hereon in you’ll want to stir pretty constantly. You need the milk to keep moving so it doesn’t burn. Burnt milk is tough to deal with.
Stir the mixture until the milk begins to bubble. When it does, reduce the heat and drop in all of the cheese. Stir the cheese around until it is fully melted.
Once your cheese sauce has come together, pour it all into your macaroni pot.
Give it a good stir, letting it mingle in the pot for a minute or two before serving. I added a sprinkling of parsley to give it a little more colour and to lift the flavour a little. Experiment with other seasonings if you like.
Serve yourself up a hearty plate or bowl. You’ll almost definitely want seconds.
Experiment with using other cheeses or seasonings. You could also add vegetables; broccoli would work especially well. It’s a very flexible recipe. Enjoy!