Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mac And Cheese Please

Growing up one of my favorite comfort foods was mac and cheese. During Lent on Friday nights it was always mac and cheese with fish sticks. Of course I hated the fish but gobbled up the mac and cheese. Even during my cancer treatment 10 years ago that dish and grilled cheese sandwiches were about all I could hold down.

Having said all that the only mac and cheese I ever ate was out of a box. It was that blue box from Kraft with the silver packet of squishy cheddar cheese. My husband on the other hand grew up eating homemade mac and cheese. We met 10 years ago just one month after his mom passed away from breast cancer. At the time I was finishing up my own breast cancer treatment convincing myself that this guy I had just met would never stick around. Obviously I was wrong!

Anyway, over all these years he has been telling me about this amazing mac and cheese his mom used to make. A couple of weeks ago he finally got me the recipe. I think it was emotional for him to get her recipe book, see her handwriting again, and take that trip down memory lane. But he did and last weekend we tried the recipe. It was amazing!! She put her little italian spin on it with mozzarella instead of cheddar. We had fun cooking it together and I think for him it was a nice way to honor her memory. I wish I had met her.

So today I want to share her recipe with you! It is so simple and delicious and low fat.


8 oz penne pasta
3 cups 2% milk
3 tbs flour
3 tbs salted butter
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz part skim mozzarella (thinly sliced)
flavored bread crumbs 2 tbs
9x13 baking dish

While the water is boiling for the pasta, melt butter in saucepan, then add flour 1tbs at a time, whisk together, add the paprika, salt, and pepper. Slowly wisk in the milk and heat through (don't let it thicken too much) Add the cooked pasta to the baking dish, pour the sauce over pasta. Shake some paprika over the pasta, then add the mozzarella slices over the top to cover the pasta, lastly spread the breadcrumbs over the cheese as your last layer.
Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese browns on top.

Hope you enjoy!


  1. I'm with you on this one Cathy. Homemade mac & cheese is THE comfort food for me. Now, Kraft Dinner, the one you talked about is yuck to me...that's the Canadian version and the cheese is ORANGE. I think though the one you mean is the Velveeta Shells and Cheese? That one is much better than Kraft Dinner. But if someone offered me a choice between that and homemade it's going to be homemade. I loved my mom's -- she put canned tomatoes in her's and there was one recipe that called for cream of celery soup and I loved that one as well.

    This recipe from Lou's mother sounds delicious (the photo looks soooo good!) so I am going to try it and thank you to Lou for going down the hard memory lane* and sharing this with us.

    *there is something about the memory of mother's and their cooking that can undo us like nothing else. ♥

  2. Mmmm, looks yummy. This is more or less how I make it as well. The box stuff, no comparison. Although we ate that when we first married.

    I enjoyed the story as well. What a good guy you found. So happy for you, continued good health to you, xo.

  3. I love Mac and cheese too...but I'm afraid that my whole stick of butter and 3 different cheeses, plus an egg, is too bad to even talk about without drooling!! ^_^ Good for your hubby's mom, thinking healthy, plus good!

  4. What a beautiful story and the Mac & cheese looks yummy! Thank you for the recipe.

  5. Thanks for sharing the story and recipe. For some reason recipe books always seem sentimental to me. I'll be sure to give this mac and cheese a try.

  6. I sympathise, my partner of 12 years now's father passed away literally months before I met her. I would have loved to have gotten to know him. All that aside, the M n C looks divine.  ツ