Easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe - A Favorite
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This is an easy recipe that I just do by heart, handed down from my great Aunt Betty. She has shared so many recipes over the years with me, but this one is a kind of favorite comfort food. Its not fat free, to say the least but is cheesy and good stuff!
There are stories told, that at family get togethers, especially when the Italian bunch showed up, that those at the front of the line, would kind of "accidentally" take off a big extra bunch of the yummy cheese on top. Those in the back of the line would holler and notice and raise a ruckus! Haha, this story makes me smile, because its funny but because I can understand wanting the extra golden browned cheese on top.
The recipe is simple, and baked in a pyrex glass dish most often. Any 9x13 pan will do though. Using your favorite cheeses and elbow macaroni makes it fun and simple.
**Baked Macaroni and Cheese**
Bag or box full of elbow macaroni
Lots of butter, will cut and use in "pats" along the top
Grated cheese, I like to use cheddar, sharp cheddar, or colby jack and cheddar. Get creative with this part, and have some fun
Cracked black peppercorn
Paprika for the top
Dash of Cayenne Pepper of course
Dried or fresh parsley as garnish
In a large pot, filled half to 3/4 with water, add your elbow macaroni, or other small pasta of your choice. You want to make sure your water is fully salted. Bring to a full rolling boil, and stir once initially. Follow the directions for the minutes needed for cooking. Cook to al dente, firm to the bite.
Drain out your pasta, and have a pan or pyrex dish already sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Layer in your pasta, and salt and pepper this. Layer the cheese, salt and pepers, and pasta until your dish is full. Completely cover the top with your favorite cheeses and add your paprika, and a dash of parsley flakes. Fresh ones are even better.
Dot with several pats of butter over the top. Pour your milk over all.
Put in a oven, preheated to 350, and bake for about one hour or until the top is bubbly and golden and the cheese is fully melted.
Enjoy this easy dish, and invite your friends and family over. Add a green salad, and its done!
Note: You can freeze this ahead of time, then defrost and bake it. Just make sure you seal it very well.