Sunday Night Dinner #3: Mac N Cheese

Mac n Cheese

A bowl of comfort.

It started off as a typical Sunday here, but low and behold, there must have been something in the water to make children stay awake. Two small children decided that naps weren’t cool, and consequently managed to drive me absolutely nuts and counting the seconds until their bedtimes. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and six o’clock had arrived (an earlier than normal bedtime). I wiped the sweat from my furrowed brow and made my way downstairs to pour myself a well deserved glass of wine. Just as I breathed a sigh of relief, the Douglish popped his head around the corner and asksed the dreaded question “what’s for dinner?”. Giving him a look that could kill in return, I squeaked out “mac n cheese”. Huh? Yes, even the most talented of cooks out there eat this comfort food, and I am by no means any different.

I make my M&C by cooking off my pasta and making a basic Mornay sauce (that’s fancy talk for cheese sauce). Looking into the cheese drawer of my fridge, I pulled out the ‘nubbins’ of a few choice pieces that have gotten lost in the shuffle; Old Growler, Dragons Breath & Mozzarella. In they went to flavour the sauce along with some rosemary and fresh lemon juice and zest. I mixed it with cooked pasta and some peas. I put the saucy pasta into my baking pan and topped it with homemade bread crumbs and another sprinkling of Old Growler. Fifteen minutes in a 400°F oven, and the bubbling concoction smelled so good that it awoke the beasts upstairs momentarily.

Plated and served with a side of arugula and yellow teardrop tomatoes, this quick and easy dinner is the perfect ending to a most hectic day.

Cheesy Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ½ onion; finely chopped
  • 1 C milk
  • ½ C grated mozzarella
  • ¼ C Dragon’s Breath (or any blue cheese)*
  • ¼ C Old Growler*
  • 1 lemon; zest and juice
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • salt & lots of black pepper
  • cooked pasta (I did 1/2box of Gemelli)
  • 1 C peas (I use frozen and finish in the pasta water before straining)
  • ½ C breadcrumbs

Melt the butter and saute the onion until translucent; add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir in the cheeses, rosemary & lemon. Season to taste.

Mix the cooked pasta & peas with the sauce and pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs (preferably homemade) and some grated Old Growler. Place into a pre-heated 400°F oven for 15 minutes until bubbling and gooey.

Serves 4.

* These cheeses were purchased at the Seaport Farmers’ Market from That Dutchman, but can be substituted with whatever cheese you have or prefer.

More Feisty Posts:

Peas, Glorious Peas!
Sunday Night Dinner #6: Cold Udon Salad
Asian Noodles to the Rescue

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