There are several "perfect" mac + cheese recipes on pinterest and in magazines, and from what I've read, they all involve boiling the pasta in milk rather than water. I took this technique and switched a few things around to create a creamy mac + cheese with a crunchy breadcrumb top that was both delicious and nutritious (read: not nutritious at all).I realize that the topping of this mac + cheese looks like cinnamon. I assure you, it is burnt breadcrumbs, just the way the santoro family likes 'em. To create the same mac + cheese, you need:
// 1 pound elbow pasta
// 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
// 1 cup half & half
// 1 cup milk
// 1 Tbsp. butter
// breadcrumbs to taste (I covered the whole top layer with a few heaping spoonfuls)
// optional: grated cheese of your choice (after we ate it, we decided it would have tasted amazing with grated parmesan mixed mixed into the breadcrumbs for the topping)
1// boil the pasta in water.
2// once the pasta is in the water, in another pot melt the butter and pour in the half & half and the milk.
3// stir the mixture constantly until a slight boil occurs, then pour in the shredded cheese and continue to stir.
4// drain the cooked pasta and mix it into the milk and cheese mixture.
5// once mixed, put the macaroni in an oven safe casserole dish and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs, or whatever other toppings you choose.
6// bake on 325* for about 10-15 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have browned (or burnt).So so quick and simple even though it seems like a mess. It is a bit more clean up with two pots, but I think by cooking the pasta in water first it avoids making the milk and cheese mixture all starchy and pasta-y. I have a feeling that variations of this mac + cheese will become a staple side dish in our house.