Tag Archives: pasta

Mac & Cheese

Standard

And a shameless copy/paste from David since Seri requested it:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup shredded sharp or extra sharp chedder (white chedder works *great*)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of milk or cream (do not use skim milk)
1 lb elbow macaroni
salt

Put the water onto boil for the pasta. As you make the sauce, toss in the pasta as necessary. Most of the time, it takes ~8 minute to cook 1 lb of of macaroni in a rolling boil.

In a saucpan, melt the butter over medium heat, stirring in the flour one the butter begins to bubble. Lower the heat and add the milk, gradually raising the heat and being careful not to scald or curdle the liquid stir constantly until the butter and flour are completely disolved. Once the milk is heated, add the cheese a bit at a time, using a whisk to blend it into the milk. Continue to add cheese until the mixture takes on a sauce-like consistency. Add the Cayenne and salt to taste. It may be necessary to adjust the quantities of cheese, milk or Cayenne to get the taste that you desire.

Drain the pasta when soft and mix in the cheese sauce until evenly distributed and you see the strings of cheese forming. serves 3-4.

Notes:

-The Cayenne pepper is essential to creating the classic “Macaroni and Cheese” taste. I only realized this when I tried to use black pepper instead… didn’t work. Only used ground Cayenne, don’t try to use Tabasco (the vinegar in the sauce will curdle the milk and make some unseemly lumps in your sauce). You can put on the Tabasco after it’s done.

-It’s essential to play with this recipe to get your Mac & Cheese how you like it. More cheese makes the sauce thicker. More Milk makes it creamier. More pepper adds fire and actually makes it taste cheesier. We like the sauce thick and spicy, but I’m sure you will figure out what’s right for you.

-Once you try this you will never go back to the blue box again if you have the chance.

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Fettucini Alfredo

Standard

Okay, this recipe is easy.  Eeeeeasy.  Easy enough I feel silly writing it up as a recipe.  (But on the other hand, it’s a favorite that we tend to have fairly often.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)  Also, when we do pasta, we tend to do pasta.  You’ll want to reduce the amount of cream/cheese/noodles if this is intended to be a side dish.)

1 tbsp butter

1 large clove garlic (clove, not head :)) minced

1 pint heavy cream (whipping cream is also fine — not whipped, however.  Cream should be in a pre-whipped state.)

1 package grated/shredded parmesan.  (the green canister won’t work here.  we use the store-brand pre-shredded bags that say 2 1/2 cups on the front)

Fettucini.  We use the refrigerator section “fresh pasta” Butoni or whatever it’s called.  Two packages = main course meal for 3 with leftovers.  The boxed dried stuff is also perfectly fine, measure how much you want and cook according to the package directions.

Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Italian Seasoning, Nutmeg

In a large pot, set water to boiling.

In a medium/large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic.  Cook until you start smelling roasted garlic, then add a small pinch of salt, a shake of black pepper, parsley, and itialian seasoning.

Once the butter is melted and you smell the herbs and garlic, add the cream and begin to stir.  You want the cream well combined with the butter mixture, but you don’t need to try and make whipped cream.

When the cream is almost to a simmer, begin adding cheese.  I usually add a handful of parmesan at a time (in my hand, somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cup.)  When the cheese is added switch to a wisk and stir constantly.  As the cheese melts in, add more cheese until it feels like you can’t add anymore.  The sauce should have gone to a smooth beigy alfredo color, and feel a lot thicker.

Sauce can sit over low heat until you’re ready for it, as long as you make a note to stir it pretty frequently to prevent scalding/burning.

Once the water is boiling for the pasta, toss in a handful of salt.  (No, I’m not exaggerating by much.  Our pasta pot is usually 2/3 filled with water, and probably 1/4 cup of salt is added.)  Add the salt after the water has started boiling so it doesn’t crystalize to the bottom of your pot.  Then add the pasta and cook as much as the pasta requires.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot.  Then sprinkle one shake of nutmeg into the sauce before giving it one final stir and adding it to the pasta.  Mix and nom.