It's an everyday story for me. "Ma, what's special for today?", this is the question I face most of the time as soon as she comes back from school and walks in through that door. It is a different story though, if she has a tiniest of cut or bruise to show off or something very unusual or exciting happened in school. She puckers her face and frowns if the my answer is dal-rice and veggies. No wonder , after all the little meat-o-saurus has her genes from me. No meal is complete without something non-veg in it. Her recent craze is "mac-n-cheese" or anything that has some kind of pasta in it.
This time I made a simple mac-n-cheese for her. I used small shell shaped pasta, you can use use any small pasta available to you. I added bacon and red peppers to enhance the flavor. If you do not like or do not eat bacon then you may not add it. And for the cheese, I used mozzarella and Parmesan, as those were only two I had in my refrigerator. You can always add sharp or mild Cheddar like traditional mac n cheese, or any other of your choice.
Things needed to make Mac-n-Cheese:
- Pasta (cooked): 2 cups
- Milk: 2 and 1/2 cup
- Butter: 1 tbsp
- Flour: 2 tbsp
- Bacon: 3-4
- Red bell pepper(chopped): 1/4 cup
- Onion(chopped): 1/4 cup
- Garlic(minced): 1 tsp
- Mozzarella Cheese: 1 cup
- Parmesan cheese: 1/2 cup
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper powder to taste
- Olive oil
Steps of making Mac-n-Cheese:
1. In a non stick flat pan cook the bacon till almost done. Take out the bacon and cut into small pieces. Drain the bacon drippings and keep aside. In that same pan add the minced garlic cook for 1 min. Add the chopped onion and red bell pepper cook over high heat till the pepper and onion looks charred.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain but DO NOT WASH. Drizzle some(1 tbsp) olive oil on the cooked pasta and toss it and keep aside.
3. While the pasta is cooking, melt butter(If you are not using bacon, then double the amount of butter) over medium heat on a non stick pan. As the butter melts add the bacon drippings and the flour, and cook over low heat till there is no raw smell of flour. It will form a roux. Add milk to the roux gradually and stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese and half of the other cheese you are using. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
|Before going into the oven|
4. Add cooked pasta( has to be hot) to the white sauce, bacon pieces and mix well. Add half of the garlic, onion, red bell pepper mixture.
5. Pre-heat oven to 400F/ 200C. Transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Sprinkle rest of the garlic, onion, red bell pepper mixture. Sprinkle rest of the cheese. Bake till the cheese takes a nice brown color. Serve hot with bread and salad.
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