While the first mentions of a dish resembling macaroni and cheese takes you to a 13th century cookbook from Italy, the cheesy pasta was something that would eventually be found in casserole dishes on colonial-era tables.
Popularized in America by Thomas Jefferson after serving it at a White House dinner in 1802, macaroni and cheese has won the hearts (and stomachs) of Americans. Turning our amber waves of grain into decadent bowls of macaroni, Americans have arguably made these noodles a kitchen staple.
Whether you’re prepping for Independence Day festivities with the fam or want to celebrate National Mac and Cheese Day on July 14, we have an easy, cheesy stovetop mac recipe to help you kick the insta-mac boxes to the curb.
The noodle choice is up to you. Go traditional with some elbow macaroni or you can do what I did and find some fun noodles at HomeGoods.
Opt for something tubular or with shapes, as the crevices serve as cheesy pockets. I used immense tubelike pasta that looked like penne magnified to six times its average size.
16 ounces of pasta
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Boil water in a large pot and cook pasta until al dente as instructed on packaging. Drain and set aside noodles.
Warm milk and cream in microwave or on stovetop in a separate small pot.
Melt butter over medium heat in the original large pot after noodles have been transferred to a strainer. Once melted, whisk in flour, salt and pepper to make a roux.
Slowly whisk in heavy cream and milk, tilting the pot to make whisking easier.
Once combined, allow your sauce to bubble. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses until melted.
Bring noodles back to the pot and toss them in in the cheese sauce. Allow everything to thicken over minimal heat for about five minutes.
Feel free to sprinkle on more cheese for garnish. Enjoy as a side or as the main course.