We’ve had a spate of cool spring weather here in northwest Montana, including days when I woke up to snow on my just-emerging crocus and scilla, so I’ve been in comfort food mode. That means—along with other recipes that satisfy filling, fatty food cravings—mac and cheese.
I grew up eating homemade mac and cheese baked in the oven until the center was gooey and the top was a crunchy cheese crust. My mom’s version was kid-friendly and simple: elbow pasta, butter, flour, milk, and mild Cheddar. I’ve tweaked it to bring in more flavor and better texture. But when it comes to making mac and cheese your own, the recipe I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon is just the beginning.
Learn more about cheesy pasta variations and get the complete recipe for Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese in my column.
Make it, share it.
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Twice as Tasty
Mac and cheese can be as simple as my mom’s original recipe and my more grownup version, or it can be the starting point for cheesy pasta that features all sorts of flavors—with a crispy oven-baked topping or not. For ultimate cheesiness without an oily texture, I reduce the whey left from making cheese and swap it for the milk. My favorite gourmet baked version features cherry tomatoes, basil, onion, and garlic—fresh from the garden in fall or from the freezer in winter. Inspired by a nonfunctioning oven earlier this year, I started making stovetop mac and cheese by mixing sautéed onion, garlic, mushrooms, and apple into a sauce of smoked gouda and cheddar. With flavors like those, I hardly missed the baked cheesy topping.
Here are just a few recipes for mac and cheese and other cheesy pastas on the blog. You can find more in the recipe index.
- Cheesiest Mac and Cheese
- Tomato–Basil Mac and Cheese
- Penne with Wilted Arugula
- Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin and Parmesan
- Childhood Mac and Cheese
You can also learn about taking cheesy pasta to the next level with Cold-Smoked Cheese in this blog post.
Want more Twice as Tasty recipes? Get my books! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. I also share tasty ways to use pickles in The Pickled Picnic; it’s only available here.