If you live in the US or Canada (and probably other places) you have spent your whole life being brainwashed that the only way to make Mac and Cheese is with the help of a blue box. Fail to use that all important box of quick cook pasta and powdered cheese and your children will never speak to you again, or you'll be obligated to legally divorce your parents, and even the dog won't eat it.
This cooks in about the same time as the box type but it's a completely different meal. It's the sort of thing you want to have for dinner after you've spent your day shoveling snow and you've just been informed that another storm will be starting tomorrow. The sauce is made with the grease from the bacon (don't judge, I explain why and offer a substitute later) and you can use almost any type of cheese you want to. The ingredients are per serving so you can cook for the number of people who are eating - no waste, no leftovers.
Step 1: Ingredients
Ingredients Per Serving (multiply by the number of diners you have)
- Dry Pasta, I just use the serving size on the box
- 1-2 strips of bacon*
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder (or prepared mustard, or garlic powder, or minced onions, or some other sharp flavor to balance the richness of the cheese sauce)
- salt and pepper to taste, but don't leave them out
- up to 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup milk (2% or whole is better than skim, but use what you have)
- 1/4 cup cheese**
- boiling water for the pasta
*Bacon - people who lived during/shortly after the great depression have helpful wisdom about not wasting food. This tip is from my grandma. She buys a package (or a few) of bacon (usually when it's on sale, of course) then she divides it up a few strips at a time between waxed paper, puts it all in a freezer bag and freezes it. That way she can pull out a few strips for this sort of thing whenever she wants to.
** Cheese - before the advent of that plasticy orange sliced cheese known as "American," old cook books that referred to "American Cheese" meant a 50/50 blend of colby and cheddar. That's what I used for this and it's great with the mustard flavor, but this would be just as good with parmesan/asiago, or gouda, or all sharp cheddar, or whatever else you're into.