This irresistible, cheesy and creamy macaroni and cheese is easy to make on the stovetop and will be ready to serve in about 20 minutes from start to finish (seriously!).
Be sure to make a big batch and put the leftovers in the kids’ school lunches. They’ll love you for it!
Humble origins of macaroni and cheese
In a 14th-century book named Liber de Coquina, pasta and parmesan cheese casserole was recorded. And the modern take of the recipe, which we are most familiar with today, was included in Elizabeth Raffald‘s 1770 recipe book, The Experienced English Housekeeper.
Raffald’s recipe is for a béchamel sauce with cheddar cheese — a Mornay sauce in French cooking — which is mixed with macaroni, sprinkled with parmesan, and baked until bubbly and golden.
What kind of cheese is best for macaroni and cheese?
Classic mac and cheese is made with a good sharp cheddar cheese. Feel free to switch things up and use another kind of cheese, or a combination of cheeses. Just make sure that whatever you choose, it is a good melting cheese.
Also, if you want an even creamier mac and cheese, use half cheddar, and half gouda or fontina.
Can I use pre-shredded cheese?
Pre-shredded cheeses are mixed with either potato starch, powdered cellulose, and natamycin or a combination of the three to prevent clumping. These agents have an impact on how the cheese melts.
The best mac and cheese uses freshly shredded cheese as it melts better.
Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that protect the body from cancer-producing free radicals and boost your immune system.
For this recipe, the mushroom variant is up to your preference. Classic button mushrooms, as well as the milder-tasting oyster mushroom, both work well.
Top off the finished product with crispy bacon bits and serve with some warm garlic bread for the ultimate comfort food classic.
- Did you know that currently the Great Depression in America, this recipe became a staple offering for starving families because of its low-costing ingredients?
- 500 g macaroni pasta
- 30 g butter
- 750 ml milk
- 250 ml cream
- 250 g cheddar cheese finely grated
- 3 tbsp butter to fry the mushrooms
- 250 g mushrooms, brown or white sliced finely
- 1 large onion ground to a paste
- 2 cloves garlic ground to a paste
- 50 g parmesan cheese finely grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- bunch of flatleaf parsley washed and destemmed
- Bring a large cooking pot with enough salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to the packet’s instructions until almost al dente. About a minute less. Drain in a colander
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk the mixture until golden brown, for about 3 to 4 minutes
- Gradually add cold milk while whisking, allowing the mixture to come to a boil. Then add the cream and cheddar cheese and stir to combine
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let it cook for about 5 minutes more on extremely low heat
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the mushrooms until golden. Then add the onion and garlic paste and cook for another minute until golden and fragrant
- Fold the mushrooms into the pasta and sauce, add a handful of parsley
- Sprinkle with parmesan before serving