Mmmm, who doesn't love creamy, delicious, cheesy home-made macaroni and cheese?
Oooo, who hates the hassle of grating, boiling, whisking, and cleaning three pots and a casserole dish?
I would have to answer "yes" to both of those questions. I love home-made mac and cheese. I love it so much, I'll never open up a box of KD again. But I really don't love having to carefully whisk together a béchamel sauce, grate the cheese, boil the pasta until it's cooked (but not fully cooked!), and then bake the whole thing, thus dirtying multiple dishes and leaving me with no time to do my home work.
But you know what? I can live with all that, because let's face it, mac and cheese is something special. A labour of love. Something worth putting in the time to create from scratch.
What I can't live with are the calories. Now I know some folks out there are thinking "who cares about calories? This is mac and cheese we're talkin' about!", but the truth is, the guilt I feel from eating a whole bowl of the real-deal mac and cheese full of mozzarella, cheddar, butter, and whole milk with little room to spare for any leafy greens, ultimately ruins the blissful experience of eating the noodles and completely wastes all the time I put into making the dish.
But now I've found a way around that guilt. Behold, Mac and Cheese for 2, a simple but delicious recipe adapted from the one I saw on Chow's website, that results in two moderate sized portions.
Mac and Cheese for 2
The béchamel sauce
-1 cup milk (whole or 2% is best, but others can be used)
-2 tbsp salted butter
-1/8 cup flour
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
-3/4 cup shredded aged cheddar
-1 cup macaroni pasta
Warm the milk in a small pot over low heat. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot. Add the flour, and then whisk constantly until the white mixture turns a light brown colour. Then add the milk to the flour and butter mixture and whisk constantly. Continue to whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir in the salt and set aside.
Boil the pasta in water until they are cooked, but still quite chewy. They will continue to cook when they have been added to the sauce and are put into the oven. Drain the pasta and add it to béchamel sauce on medium heat. Add the shredded cheeses, and when the cheeses have melted, pour the mac and cheese into a small casserole dish, top with a little more shredded cheese if you like, and bake for ten minutes.