Comfort Food Your Kids Will Eat
by Kelly R. Smith
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This Homemade mac and cheese is one of the favorite comfort foods in our humble abode, right up there with my ranch dressing cheeseburger. Even picky kids love it so you can slip in some vegetables if you like (hint, hint). It takes a little longer to make than that boxed stuff, but you have to ask, what is that yellow powder anyway? Soylent yellow? As with all recipes, I use as much organic ingredients as possible, and out of my own garden when possible.
Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- 1 lb. rigatoni or the pasta shape of your choice. I like whole wheat but hey, you’ve got to get the kids to eat it, right?
- Organic butter for your baking dish
- 2 cups Half-and-Half
- 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2” squares or shredded
- Kosher or pink salt to taste
- Freshly-ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if you can find it + a hand-full; I sometimes substitute shredded Swiss for the Reggiano
- 7 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 35 organic basil leaves, cut into strips, more or less according to your taste. This is just one more reason to keep an organic spice garden. If you don’t have, or can’t find, fresh basil, use basil paste.
- Cook your pasta to al dente texture.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Drain your pasta and rub organic butter liberally in a 9” X 13” Pyrex® baking dish and add the pasta.
- In a saucepan, combine the mozzarella, 2 cups of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Half-and-Half.
- Simmer, stirring often, until it’s a nice gooey mess!
- Add the salt and pepper to taste. Salt with caution if you have high blood pressure.
- Turn off the heat; stir in the tomatoes and basil.
- Pour the mixture all over the pasta and mix it in.
- Top with the hand-full of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Bake for 18 minutes, spoon it out, and enjoy!.
One of the things I like about this recipe is the fact that there a multitude of different ways to modify your ingredients, depending on the whims of you and your family. For example, how about changing up your cheese? Adding blue cheese will give the dish a funky edge that goes well with a red wine. The shape of the pasta? Adding in your favorite spices? It’s your call with this easy homemade mac and cheese recipe.
More Articles Recipes to Try
- The Health Benefits of Quinoa
- Ranch Dressing Cheeseburger Recipe
- Creamy Potato Gratin Recipe
- Basil: a Savory Addition to Your Herb Garden and Kitchen
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About the Author:
Kelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.