Martha’s Macaroni-and-Cheese

It’s summer! Despite the rain, and dreary skies, and the chill in the air, it’s still technically summer and I couldn’t be happier. This will be my second summer in Montreal, and I can’t wait for it to really start. Everyone was moving in and out of apartments yesterday, but I’m staying in my little apartment another year. I’m hoping to do a few touch-ups here and there, but overall I love my place like crazy.

Since I had 2 exams Monday, I didn’t get my act together on the blog. Don’t worry – I’ll make up for it from here on out. I have a couple of great things to share, as well as a brand new project that I’m working on, which is going to be totally awesome. Stay tuned for that!

Today, it’s a mac-and-cheese kind of day where I am. It’s rainy. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s blah. I made this mac-and-cheese a couple weeks ago, but boy am I wishing I had a bowl right now. I made it right this time: making sure I had all the right ingredients (not just winging it with what I had in my fridge), used real butter, baked it in my Grandma’s casserole dish, tore up baguette for the top, and felt like a regular Martha! For me, the key was the chewy bread “crumbs” – they added a really nice texture that contrasts with the softness of the pasta. I really can’t see myself making any other mac-and-cheese recipe ever again. Except if I’m lazy and just make it from the box!

I used Deb’s recipe, which is adapted from Martha Stewart’s famous recipe. There are many adaptations, but it’s all the same really: lots of butter, lots of cheese, lots of pasta. Carbs. A lot of carbs. I ended up using the Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Gruyere, mostly because I’m a cheapskate and Gruyere is more expensive. My mac-and-cheese was delicious with Romano, as I’m sure it would have been with Gruyere. But just in case you’re a cheapskate like me, go with the Romano and it’ll still taste super-duper.

My favourite part was piling all the sort-of-al-dente pasta into the pan with the cheese sauce. I just think it looks awesome. How do they do that? How do they make tiny little macaroni noodles so perfect? I left it like this for a few seconds before stirring it all in together. By the way, the cheese sauce is out of bounds. If you wanted to stop and dip some leftover baguette into it and eat a bunch of it, I would not judge you. I would understand you.

But it’s worth it to wait until there is pasta and bread involved, until it’s been baked, until there’s a glass of fruit punch (sadly, that’s not red wine, though I wish it had been!) in your hand and you’re ready for a beautiful lunch. Comfort food, for real.

Do you love macaroni-and-cheese? What recipe do you normally follow? Or what brand do you like out of the box? Happy eats, folks!

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