I have quick and overly-dramatic a story about macaroni and cheese to share:
One day, not long ago (April 29, 2012), I ate the most delicious mac and cheese EVER. It was from a little restaurant in Vermont that used real Vermont sharp cheddar and the chef somehow made it creamy and rich and magical. By the grace of the food gods, I had leftovers. I delicately handed the styrofoam container to Jake to carry to the car while I laboriously cared for our only child. As we were driving away I suddenly heard a thud. Fearing the worst, I whipped around to look out the rear window and saw the delicious combination of pasta and dairy splattered on the ground for the birds and moose to feast on. Jake left my true love (maybe an exaggeration) on the roof of the car and it was now lost and gone forever. Our relationship hasn’t been the same since. The end.
Luckily, this macaroni and cheese has put me back into a good mood. It is easy to make, deliciously creamy, very customizable, and is done in under 30 minutes. Can’t beat that, so give it a try!
One-Pot Easy Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups small cut pasta (I used shells)
2 cups milk, or more if needed
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for final season later depending on how salty your cheese is
generous dash of nutmeg
1 – 1 1/2 cups freshly grated cheese, any combination but try to use mostly melty cheeses (as opposed to hard). I used cheddar, jack, American, and parm.
Any additional toppings that you like (tomatoes, bacon, broccoli, toasted breadcrumbs. etc.)
Rinse the raw pasta under water and let it drain. In a medium sauce pan, add milk, pasta, salt, butter, mustard powder and nutmeg. On medium heat, slowly bring the milk/pasta mixture to a simmer, stirring the macaroni frequently (more like constantly) as it comes up to a simmer. Don’t leave the stove or else the pasta will stick together and you will end up with a clumpy mess. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, immediately turn the heat down to low. The pasta will slowly cook in the milk. Continue to stir the mixture fairly constantly so that macaroni will cook evenly and absorb milk evenly. Stir, stir stir!
Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until milk has been almost fully absorbed. If the pasta is not cooked fully, add a little more milk or water to mixture ( in small amounts). When the milk has evaporated, stir in the grated cheese. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for about 5 minutes. This rest period will allow macaroni to plump up and absorb any excess milk. Add additional salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Source: White on Rice Couple