I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this very basic but very delicious Macaroni and Cheese. Every holiday, birthday, or random weekend together spent with anyone on my dad’s side of the family has this Macaroni and Cheese in attendance. If it’s missing, people notice. Not that it’s ever happened before.
When I wanted to make this, I called my Aunt Joan to get the recipe, only to discover that there isn’t one. Everyone in the family just kind of eye-balls it and surprisingly, it all turns out mostly the same. She gave me the approximate ingredients and their amounts and I gave it a shot. It worked, and I’ve been making it like this every since. Until now…
(I hope you read that in the movie trailer voice-over voice).
This recipe starts with butter, like most good things do.
When the butter was melted, I added some flour and whisked it together with the butter. That’s a roux!
The butter and flour became thick and a little dark, then I added some milk and whisked it all together so that there were no clumps.
I seasoned with salt and pepper and a little bit of cayenne for heat and let this cook until it was thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When it was thick, I added the cheese and whisked until it was melted.
Meanwhile, I boiled some bowtie pasta until about 2 minutes to being al dente. I drained the pasta, returned it to the pot, and poured the cheese sauce over the pasta. I mixed it until the pasta was coated with the sauce then transferred the pasta to a baking pan.
I topped it more grated cheddar, naturally, covered it in foil, then baked it for about 20 minutes until the cheese was bubbly and the edges of the macaroni and cheese were a little golden brown. That’s the good stuff.
I served this along side some BBQ chicken legs (recipe coming soon!) and corn on the cob and it was amazing.
This is cheesy, comforting, and so delicious. I liked the flatter bowtie pasta because every piece got a little crunchy, which is my favorite part of a baked pasta dish.
The best part about this? I wrote down what I did! I now have a recipe! Although I think I’ll probably still just eyeball it, because that’s the Haley way!
Here’s the recipe (AJ, feel free to correct anything!):
Haley Family Macaroni and Cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk (I used skim, but if it’s true Haley Family mac and cheese, it’s whole milk all the way)
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 block cheddar cheese, grated and divided
- 1 lb short pasta (elbow, penne, fusilli, bowtie…. whatever!)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until about 1 minute from al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet. Add flour to the butter, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Add milk, again, whisking constantly until the roux is fully combined with the milk. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. When it’s thick, add half of the grated cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Add cheese sauce to the pasta and stir to combine. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with remaining grated cheese. Cover baking dish with foil and cook for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the edges of the mac and cheese are golden brown.
- Serve with BBQ chicken, turkey and dressing, pork chops, ANYTHING! It’s delicious and delicious comfort foods go with anything.