As my friends can attest, there was a time in my life where I could down a whole box of macaroni and cheese. In the days before organic, eating local and slow food became buzz words, I was all about the quick, easy and accessible. That was also before I (and most people) ever laid eyes on the world wide web. Back then, my metabolism could, um, handle that.
Things change. I still have a soft spot for Kraft’s obscenely orange powdered cheese, but I rarely indulge in it. More often than that I opt for tortellini tossed with some lemon olive oil, Romano and sea salt. As children do, Will loves macaroni and cheese — so does Paige, and Shawn for that matter. And I have learned that homemade food can be equally as accessible as convenience food.
That’s what this recipe is. It’s quick, easy and accessible macaroni and cheese, and it’s all made fresh. Honestly, this won’t take you any longer than the box if you start cooking the sauce at the same time as the pasta. Sure, it might not be the healthiest side dish, but this is comfort food and sometimes we all need a little comfort.
Quick Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
serves 6 as a side
1 slice bacon, uncooked and roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
1/2 lb pasta, cooked
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just about browned. Add butter to the pan and melt. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes, until a smooth paste is formed. Whisk in the milk and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, until thickened. Stir in the cheese until melted and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well.
Leftovers make great lunches.