Although my comfort food list includes a lot of nontraditional dishes, like crepes and Hot and Sour Soup, I’m a sucker for homemade mac and cheese. It was a household standard when I was growing up. As little girls, my sister and I sometimes begged for forbidden junk foods, but we were always willing to go homemade when it came to Mom’s baked macaroni. I’d take leftovers to school to eat cold for lunch, not caring what my friends thought. It was that good.
Over the years, I’ve come to love other flavors in my baked noodles: the bite of garlic and dry mustard, a burst of flavor from cherry tomatoes and basil, and always extra-sharp Cheddar. Since I started making cheese, it’s been my preferred way to use whey. But my mom’s original version is perfect for introducing kids—and adults—who’ve only had boxed macaroni & cheese to the real deal.
Learn to make Childhood and Tomato–Basil Mac and Cheese