I made pasta and cheese out of desperation. Hungry desperation!
It was just me, hungry, in the middle of the day. I looked around. I had some left over farfalle(bowtie pasta) that didn’t get cooked up with the Bacon and Bowties from last week. I had a small hunk of cheddar and one gourmet hot dog left in the freezer. I had an idea. An embarrassing childhood meal idea.
I was not going to take pictures, but I did.
I was not going to post this, but I am.
I was not going to tell you how much I liked this, but I loved it. Cut up hot dogs and cheese, really what is not to like? Nostalgia taste so good… as long as you enjoy it in small doses.
No real recipe on this one, just the technique. To make a ‘from scratch’ mac n cheese you gotta make a roux. It is an easy process, no fear needed.
I started by boiling the bowties in salted water. Cook to al dente and drain. Always reserve some of the starch cooking liquid, always, Always, ALWAYS. It is great to add to sauce because the starch holds the sauce together while thinning the sauce so it covers everything evenly.
While your pasta cooks, grate the cheese. I highly recommend grating your own cheese instead of the pre-grated stuff. It might save you some hard work to buy it ready to use, but it never seems to melt the same way for me.
After the pasta has drained, return the hot pot to the stove and add equal amounts of butter and flour. In this case, I used about 1 1/2 Tablespoons. Let the butter melt and sprinkle the flour over. Immediately whisk the flour into the butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly. Depending on what you are making, the length of time you cook your roux changes. If you are making a mac n cheese, you just want to cook the roux until the flour no longer tastes raw, just when you start to smell a little nutty aroma. If you are making a gumbo, cook your roux until it is dark brown.
Next, add milk (1 cup) slowly, whisking while pouring to prevent lumps. Stir over medium heat until a thick sauce forms.
Add your pasta into the cheese sauce. In my case I felt that I had more sauce than needed for the two serving of pasta, so I added the the sauce to the pasta, holding back the extra sauce. if your cheese sauce is really thick, add some of that reserved pasta cooking water. I had to add a couple of tablespoons to get my pasta and cheese creamy.
or bacon crumbles,
or because I still love eating like a kid, cut up hot dogs!!!