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Even if you're not feeling nostalgic, you'll find this slightly updated version of an old favorite irresistible. And it's incredibly fast and easy because you don't have to make a sauce or even bake the macaroni.
Don't uncork the rare vintage Bordeaux for this one! A simple, straightforward dish needs a wine with the same qualities. Find a Beaujolais-Villages from France or a California wine made from the fruit-filled gamay or mourvèdre grape and chill it before serving.
- 3/4 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- A few dashes of Tabasco sauce (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the macaroni until just done, about 8 minutes. Drain and return to the hot pot.
Put the pot over the lowest possible heat and add the butter, cheese, mustard, Tabasco sauce if using, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts, and serve.
Pre-grated cheeses are certainly convenient, but what you gain in time you lose in taste. Since cheddar cheese is the star ingredient here, try to find one of excellent quality and grate it yourself. It takes only minutes on a hand-held grater. You can grate the cheese while the pasta is cooking. There are a number of delicious cheddars on the market, including those from Vermont, New York, Wisconsin and Oregon.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
640 calories; 33g total fat; 91mg cholesterol; 743mg sodium; 63g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 26g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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