Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Mac & Cheese

Remember when we were kids and everything was cooler if it was in a fun shape or color? Purple oatmeal, Rugrats mac and cheese, Dunkaroos. I love having fun with my food so I couldn't resist buying Halloween shaped pasta. Spiderwebs, ghosts, pumpkins, they made dinner seem all the more festive and exciting.

And what better way to pretend you're still a kid as a grown up but to have grown up mac and cheese? I'm just as happy as the next 5 year old to eat Kraft macaroni but for this pasta, we need some adult cheese to balance it out.

Using a very scientific method called 'winging-it', I made a roux as the pasta cooked. The roux was really to add some extra creamy texture to the cheese sauces as there's really far more cheese than butter/flour. The roux is made by combining equal parts butter and flour to make a sort of paste. Milk is added to smooth it out before shredding a whole bunch of cheese. Just when you think you have enough cheese, add some more!

Just so I can say that this meal contains a serving of vegetables, I added chopped mushrooms to the mix. You could also add bacon, tomatoes, sausage, really anything you'd like or would enjoy on a pizza.

The cheese sauce should be nice and thick, you don't want it to be too liquidy or it won't stick to the pasta. Add more cheese if necessary (always add more cheese). All of the ingredients are combined in the pot of cooked, drained Halloween pasta. Stir it all together and you've got a gooey, delicious and spooky meal!

This can also be applied to things like turkey shaped pasta or dreidel pasta (it exists, my sister's getting it for Hanukkah this year), all the shapes of pasta really.

I hope you all have a Happy Halloween!! Stay tuned for some little monster treats...

  • 14 oz. of fun pasta (or regular)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese or adult cheese of choice
  • Dash of paprika (optional)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil for the pasta. 
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta noodles and cook until tender.
  3. While the pasta cooks, in a skillet or frying pan, melt the butter. Add the flour once the butter is melted and combine to make a paste.
  4. Add the milk to the skillet and mix until smooth.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and grate the cheese directly into the skillet, stirring as needed to help melt the cheese. 
  6. Once all of the cheese is melted, stir to check the consistency. If the sauce is runny, add more cheese until it resembles a thick alfredo sauce.
  7. Add the chopped mushrooms to the sauce and remove from heat.
  8. Drain the pasta once it is done cooking. 
  9. Add the sauce and chopped mushrooms to the pasta and mix until combined. You can also add paprika, salt or pepper if you choose.
  10. Serve hot! 

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