Sep 17, 2012: pasta and cheese with fresh tomatoes

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Yummy!

My husband has a man-cold, so apparently wasn’t hungry for dinner.  This meant I could make some shells and cheese, bake it all up, have it for dinner with roasted red tomatoes, and put it into a bento for lunch tomorrow.

I am looking in on chickens and cats this week and in return get any eggs that are laid and fresh, home-grown tomatoes (which I consistently kill year after year, so this is such a treat!).  My inner dork wanted to have “Chicken Week” with egg dishes each day, but there was only one egg today, and I’m ashamed to say that I dropped it.  Really pretty sliced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and olive oil in the piggy cup to pour on them make up the deliciousness!

Easy cheesy pasta and cheese – although not posh enough to be the mac and cheese I’d serve if I had friends over for dinner (but healthier!)

-Cook 2 cups of pasta in lightly salted water until it’s just a little less ‘done’ than you’d like (probably the shortest suggested cooking time on the packet)

-Drain it really well in a colander, and let it sit while you make the sauce.  I do everything in a dutch oven/casserole that can do stovetop and oven, so I only use one pan.  You can make the sauce while the pasta boils if you like.

-***certainly not traditional, but doesn’t fail and is quick*** Add 1.5 cups milk, 2 tbsp of butter/oil, and a scant 1/4 cup of all purpose flour to a pot, and cook over medium-low heat until thickened.  Season to taste (ie you decide how much) with pepper, and salt if you need it.  I tend to go heavy on the pepper and skip the salt.  But that’s just me.

-Grate in the cheese.  I prefer a really sharp old cheddar cheese for this, but use what’s on hand.  That being said, I used a medium cheddar that makes lovely sandwiches, but just didn’t quite cut it for this.  Put in however much you want – I did about 1/2 cup grated.

-Add the pasta into the sauce, and stir so that it’s all really well coated.  Discovering naked pasta isn’t really fun.  Put it into your baking dish of choice.  Grease the pan a bit if you don’t want to have a nightmare cleaning it 🙂  Or just soak in the sink overnight, and it will all come off.

-You can eat this now if you like, but baking makes it better!

-Grate more cheese on top.  The amount will vary depending on how much cheese you want baked on top, and how big your dish is.  My dutch oven = deeper, less surface area = less cheese.

-Bake at about 375′ (170’ish for those Brits who read my blog) for about 30 minutes until nice and bubbly.  Try to let it cool down.  It will burn.  It wouldn’t be nice.

Not the most amazing mac and cheese, but not too unhealthy as far as mac and cheese goes.

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3 thoughts on “Sep 17, 2012: pasta and cheese with fresh tomatoes

  1. I’ve used similar method to make mac and cheese too, sometimes I just skip making the roux all together and just mix the cornstarch, cheese, milk and butter and let it thicken, then fry some breadcrumbs in butter to sprinkle on top. Yummy too without all the troubles. Love the colourful tomatoes!

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