Learn the perfect way to make a creamy mac n cheese recipe. It is as easy as whipping up any other pasta dish. Today’s version is loaded with good stuff like spinach and has a nice tanginess from chopped sun dried tomatoes. Add anything from roasted veggies to thai curry paste as flavoring.
By Siri Pulipaka
So, has it ever happened that you dream about a recipe and the reminisces of it stay till you are wide awake in the morning? I dreamt about mac ‘n’ cheese last night – the goo-ey, creamy and smooth type with the right about of milk and cheese sauce to coat the pasta and then baked with a golden brown breadcrumb topping!
Clearly it was an indication from the universe that I should indulged myself with it and share with you. One thing was clear in my mind. It will be no ordinary version and it has to be tangy and sweet. After mulling over all Sunday morning, I zeroed in on adding finely chopped sun dried tomatoes and am so glad I did. What a lovely difference it made. Spinach gives color and these two are added to the milk & cheese sauce, the outcome was truly drool worthy.
- 100 gms (approx 4 oz) macaroni pasta, uncooked (or use any kind of pasta like tube, shell etc)
- 1.5 cups of milk
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup grated cheese
- ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (drained)
- ½ cup chopped spinach
- ½ cup breadcrumbs (I just pulsed a dry piece of white bread for this recipe)
- ½ tbsp oil (from sundried tomatoes jar)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp butter
- Cook macaroni in salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than indicated on package directions so pasta is just al dente. Drain and quickly rinse with cold water so that it stops cooking. Set aside on a flat plate.
- Heat a tbsp of oil (from sun dried tomatoes jar) and add breadcrumbs to it. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl for later use.
- Heat milk along with bay leaf until it starts to form small bubbles. Let it stand for a few minutes in a separate bowl. Meanwhile, melt butter and once it starts to foam, add flour. Mix and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on medium flame. Once it changes color to light golden brown, add milk (without the bay leaf) ¼th cup at-a-time and whisk so that no lumps are formed. Repeat the same till milk is all incorporated into the flour mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add grated cheese and stir well until it is creamy & smooth.
- Add chopped spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Mix well. Finally add cooked macaroni and gently toss everything together.
- Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F. Grease a baking pan with butter and transfer the mac 'n' cheese into it.
- Top evenly with sauteed bread crumbs and bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the crumbs turn brown. Let it stand for a minute or so and Serve piping hot.
Siri is an obsessed foodie, an avid blogger, a passionate photographer and one who yearns for simple pleasures of life. She writes about recipes, her culinary adventures and reviews local restaurants & events on her blog - Cooking With Siri, which she started in summer of 2007 during her stint in the US. She believes in farmer's markets, growing her own food and eating responsibly & locally. She also has a photography blog - 365 Days of Siri, where she shares and documents a slice of her daily life through the camera lens. She currently lives in Hyderabad, India along with her food-loving husband.