In today’s busy world, finding quick, delicious, and kid-friendly recipes is a must for any parent. Look no further than this easy Baked Macaroni and Cheese – a timeless classic that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. With a few simple ingredients and steps, you can create this comforting dish that’ll become a family favorite. So, let’s dive into the recipe and explore the story behind this beloved dish.
- 8 ounces uncooked macaroni (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Whisk in the flour, then gradually add milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.
- Cook and stir milk mixture for 5-7 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and ground nutmeg (if using).
- In the prepared casserole dish, combine the cooked macaroni and cheese sauce. Mix well to make sure all noodles are coated.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden brown on top.
History and Curiosities:
The origins of Macaroni and Cheese can be traced back to Europe, specifically Italy, where pasta and cheese dishes have been a staple for centuries. The earliest known recipe for a dish similar to modern macaroni and cheese dates back to the 14th century. However, it wasn’t until the American colonies were established that macaroni and cheese gained popularity in the United States.
Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. President, played a significant role in popularizing the dish in America. He loved the macaroni he had tried during his time in Europe and decided to import specific pasta-making equipment to produce it in America. After serving the dish at a state dinner in 1802, it gained even more popularity across the country.
Macaroni and Cheese has become a beloved comfort food in America, taking on various forms and flavors. It has grown from a simple dish of pasta, cheese, and milk to include additional ingredients like bacon, vegetables, or seasonings such as garlic, mustard, and various herbs to suit individual tastes.
Over the years, Macaroni and Cheese has also become an essential dish for special occasions and holidays, as well as a popular dish to serve at potlucks, as it is easy to make and serves a large number of people. With its rich, creamy taste, and the ability to accommodate various adaptations, it’s no wonder macaroni and cheese has remained a family-favorite in households everywhere.