When Even Mac and Cheese Won’t Do the Trick

mac and cheese

There was no amount of delicious mac and cheese that could comfort me.

Like everyone else, I can’t stop watching and reading the news coverage of the shooting in Tuscon.

At quarter to seven last night, my boyfriend and I decided we didn’t have time to head to the grocery store before the 8pm memorial/rally. Eager to hear Obama, we eyed our emptying shelves. We saw a box of Easy Mac. But I refused. Next door to the fake-cheese, however, led us to inspiration: a box of rigatoni.

And at that moment, I didn’t care that we spent 10 dollars for a slight wedge of brie-like goat cheese at the farmers’ market, we were using it, goddamnit, to make our own mac and cheese.

In a mad dash, 80P grabbed the grater, I found shallots and garlic and we started prepping. The mac and cheese finished moments before Arizona State opened its stage.

While I may have found it difficult to eat while crying over Christina-Taylor Green, I noticed that my creamy pasta was delicious.

baked mac and cheese

Baked Mustard Mac and Cheese

Chop and lightly heat 2 shallots and 2 garlic cloves in about two tablespoons of butter with salt and pepper. In fact, we used a scant half a stick of butter in total. Just go with it. It’s still better than using the fake powder cheese stuff, right?

Anyway, get a pot of water boiling, add salt, and throw in half a box whole wheat rigatoni and take out on the al dente side, because the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

When the garlic and shallots have started to cook, add in about a tablespoon of butter, let it melt, then add a tablespoon of flour. Then whisk furiously until the flour is incorporated. Repeat once more. Then add in about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of milk (we had 1%), a few squirts of dirty mustard, one bay leaf and some ground cayenne and let it cook down and thicken.

We grated our brie-like goat (which wasn’t all that easy) and parm cheese, about 3-4 cups total (total guess).

At minute 7, we drained the pasta, returned it to the pot, added in the thickened milk mixture (remove the bay leaf) and the grated cheese and stirred to combine and poured it into a buttered square pyrex. We topped it with a loose layer of pumpernickel breadcrumbs, more salt, pepper and parm cheese and baked it at 375-400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until sufficiently hot, creamy and singed on top.

Try to enjoy the comfort.

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  • Michaela January 13, 2011  

    That doesn’t look like whole wheat pasta to me…

  • gansie January 16, 2011  

    the pasta is coated with so much cheese and roux that it’s brown color must not be showing

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