Good morning! I woke up wanting to share another of my recipes, as you can see I love food so much, I wake up thinking about it:-) This is another great comfort food, I have a few different ways of making mac & cheese but this is my newest and my family loves it-even the kids! Sometime I will post my other mac and cheese recipes but for now here is my Ritzy parm mac & cheese, it would make a great Christmas/Holiday dish too and I hope you will try and let me know what you think!
1 8oz block of sharp or extra sharp cheddar (any brand works, I’m a northern bred girl who adores my cabot!)
1 block (about 5-7 oz from the specialty cheese section) fresh parmesan cheese
1 box of Elbow OR Penne Pasta (I have done both and let my kids pick)
Skim milk (you can substitute whole or another variety)
1/2 stick of butter
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers (you will use about 1/2 to 3/4 of it depending on you desired amount of topping)
You have at this point seen the ingredient list and you are probably thinking “skim milk in mac and cheese, she’s crazy!!” You can use another variety, but trust me this comes out great and is the healthier way and saves many calories)
Before I start, I slice up my blocks of cheese into about 1/2″ to 1″ thick pieces, you are not going to want them too thick or they will take a long time to melt. Typically I have about 1/4 of the sharp cheddar that I have left over and about the same with the parmesan. I don’t use the blocks completely, you can save them and add them to another meal that week. Also at this point I make my pasta to have it ready for when the cheese mixture is done.
I start by slicing up my half stick of butter putting it into a large pan the pour the skim milk into the pan. Again, I never measure which can make explaining this part a little hard, I go my looks and taste. You will probably use about 3 cups of milk. Make sure all the butter is covered and just add milk until you can tell that you have enough to make that creamy cheesy goodness that will cover your pasta nicely! When the milk and butter is warm and the butter is melted I add my sliced cheese, all of it. You will need to keep stirring consistently at this point because you are not going to want to burn the cheese and milk. I add some black pepper at this point as well. When the cheese mixture is all melted I pour it over my pasta that is waiting in my casserole dish. Mix it up well, than take about 1/2 a package of Ritz crackers, crumble them and top the mac and cheese, sprinkle with pepper and parsley and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 25-30 mins. I usually cover it with foil after the first 10 minutes to avoid it getting to crunchy on top.
If you notice your cheese mixture getting thick with this recipe, it’s ok. Mine does too. The parmesan doesn’t melt as good and the first time I made this I though, “Oh no, I ruined it!!) Just melt it down best you can and the rest of it melts down as it bakes, so don’t worry! If your mixture looks to thin and needs thickening just take some flour or cornstarch mixed with water and thicken it up!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. I will share my other Mac and cheese recipes another time. Enjoy this great day that we have been given!!