|Everyone gobbled it! I almost forgot to take a picture.|
|We ate half, so now I have lunch tomorrow!|
Home-Style Macaroni and Cheese
2 13-14 oz box of pasta (I prefer whole-wheat shells or macaroni)
1 cup of whole milk (preferably grass-fed and raw)
1/2 cup of cream (heavy, or raw skimmed from milk) or sour cream
2 cups of diced ham or 1 lb of cooked bacon crumbled (optional & preferably pastured)
3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups of pumpkin or winter squash puree
6 eggs (pastured or free range if available)
1/2 stick of butter, diced
Sea salt and White Pepper to taste
Boil water with a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta according to directions on box. Removing when still a little firmer than you prefer (it will cook a little more later and you don't want it mushy). Drain and add to a large lasagna pan.
Dice and cook ham or bacon in a pan. Add 2 cups of diced meat to noodles. Add 3 cups of shredded cheese. Mix until everything is evenly dispersed and cheese starts to melt.
In a food processor or blender, puree pumpkin or squash. Add milk and cream, blend until smooth. Mix into pan. Salt and pepper to taste (actually a little saltier than you would normally prefer to account for the eggs).
*If you want a creamy Mac and Cheese you can skip the next step and warm it in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. It is good this way. I like the addition of eggs for protein and also the texture of a good Sunday Potluck baked Mac. It is your call.
Lightly beat eggs and add to pan, mix until even. Top with more cheese if desired and cubed butter. Salt the top (this is a trick I learned from my husband, always salt the cheese on anything, it makes it a million times better). Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour, or until solid. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This is even good at room temperature, so it makes a great potluck dish.
There are other options on this. I've added diced cream cheese with the cheese, and also extra sour cream. If you have those in your fridge and have the time, add them. The above recipe as stated took 20-25 minutes total cook/prep time, including boiling the water, dicing the ham and shredding the cheese. I also cooked extra ham for other meals later in the week. I prepped it and left it in the fridge to be cooked later. You could probably bake this and leave it in a warm oven for an hour to 2 as well if your schedule needed it. Today my hubby was home to pop it in the oven while I was Zumba-ing it up! There seriously isn't anything better than Mac and Cheese!
Love and Butter,