Cheese and pasta, is there a better combination? Have you ever met a person who does not like Macaroni and cheese? I do not think I have come across a single one. Which is good considering if they eat at my house, there is a good chance I will be serving some sort of cheesy pasta dish.
I think it is pretty evident to those of you who follow my blog, I am a bit obsessed with the dish. I think there are more Mac n' Cheese combos on my blog than anything else. Variations like, Buffalo Chicken, Chili and Beer, Ranch and Bacon, Pumpkin, Slow Cooker, French Onion Soup, Meatball Sub, Bacon Lovers, Hard Cider.... and there are more!
For someone who loves pasta so much, I rarely make it from scratch. It is a shame too, because there is truly nothing better. Though it may take some time (time that I do not have often) to make, it is something I enjoy doing vary much.
To make these homemade elbow noodles, it is really not rocket science. There may be other methods of shaping them. I found this is what works best for me.
I took my basic pasta recipe, flour, water, egg, and salt. Mixed it in my stand mixer, allowed it to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and then starting shaping. First, I take pieces of dough the size of a dime and flatten between my thumb and index finger creating a thin disk.
I then take the disk, and roll it around a floured chop stick. This is what I have on hand... any dowel will work. Roll and shape around the dowel until it's about an inch long.Slide off the floured dowel, and lightly shape the pasta into an arch (to create that elbow noodle look) without pinching it closed. Allow the pasta to dry and then boil! It's pretty easy, and worth the time.
Today is a special day, it's Mac n' Cheese Mania... TONS of food bloggers all sharing their best macaroni dishes and YOU could win some awesome prizes!
To join in on the fun, not only am I sharing my pasta recipe, but a recipe for Roasted Veggie Mac n' Cheese. This is a basic sharp cheddar sauce poured over cooked pasta and roasted veggies. I went with bell peppers, onions and broccoli. But the recipe is easily adaptable, use whichever vegetable your little heart desires. Sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower. The combos are endless!
Roasted Vegetable Mac n' Cheese with Homemade Elbow Noodles
For the pasta:
1 cup of all purpose flour (or semolina)
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
2-4 tbs water
For the Mac n' Cheese
Cooked Pasta (homemade or boxed)
3 tbs butter
3 tbs all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded ( I use Cabot's Seriously Sharp)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt for the sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow onion
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt for the veggies
To prepare the pasta, mix flour, egg, and salt together until crumbly, pour in water 1 tbs at a time until the dough comes together and is just barely sticky.
Lightly flour the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about two hours.
To shape the dough, break dime sized pieces off and flatten between your thumb and index finger creating a thin disk.
Using a floured wooden dowel (like a chop stick) roll the pasta around, creating a 1 inch tube.
Shape the pasta into a half moon shape (like elbow pasta) and place on parchment paper to dry. ( I let mine sit overnight, but just a couple of hours will do)
Bring water to a boil and drop in pasta one handful at a time, and boil until they float to the top.
To prepare your cheese sauce, over medium heat, melt butter and then whisk in flour until a paste forms. Whisk in milk until smooth and bring to a low boil. Mix in shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Mix in sour cream and remove from heat until it is time to mix with the pasta.
To prepare your vegetables, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay veggies on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt. Bake until the onions are translucent, and the broccoli starts to crisp on the tops.
In a large pan or bowl, mix cooked pasta, vegetables with your cheese sauce and serve.
A big thanks to the ladies who organized this event, Rachel Cooks and Nutmeg Nanny. Mac and Cheese Mania is being sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO. To enter to win some great prizes, visit either Rachel Cooks or Nutmeg Nanny and share your best Mac n' Cheese recipe. (You do not have to be a blogger to do so!)
Prizes up for grab? ~$1800 worth!~
Door to Door Organics Gift Cards, OXO Gift Baskets, Zak Designs Prize Pack, a year's supply of Cabot cheese, a Vermont Creamery gift basket, a risotto kit from Marx Foods, Barilla pasta, Anolon Advanced Bronze 4.5 Qt. Tapered Stockpot, Rachael Ray Stoneware Casseroval, Wusthof CLASSIC Studio Block Set, Microplane Graters and Kitchen Tools, a SavorX Starter Block with spices and Le Cordon Bleu by Swissmar oven to table roasters. All giveaways open to US residents over the age of 18 only.