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Stovetop Mac and Cheese made at home using limited wholesome ingredients is easy and yummy. Perfect to serve teenagers who need loads of good calories to keep up with their growing bodies and active lifestyles. That’s precisely why I started to make this often when my younger son hit the growth spurt while also doing sports at the same time.
What do I need to make a healthy & yummy Stovetop Mac and Cheese at home?
For ingredients, organic macaroni pasta is the very first ingredient. While the mini elbow-shaped macaroni pasta is the classic, any shape of the macaroni pasta will do.
Then the cheese. For best results, use a freshly grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese combo. For a package of dried macaroni pasta (about one pound or half kilos), you will need approximately 4 cups of shredded cheese in total. I usually use half cheddar and half mozzarella.
Last but not least, I like to sprinkle a pinch of paprika for the color and accent flavor.
How to cook dry pasta easy, yummy, and healthy?
For a perfectly tasty Mac and Cheese, you want the pasta soft but still maintain a spongy chewy texture. Macaroni pasta is fully hydrated and cooked but retains its integrity. How do you do that?
The key is to use a lot of boiling water so that you cook the dried pasta fast enough not to make it mushy, but also just enough time to amply hydrate the pasta at the same time.
An 8 Qt stockpot is an excellent choice to cook pasta. Fill the stockpot about 80% full and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches the boil, add one package of dried pasta. Quickly separate them using a stainless steel spider strainer, turn the heat to simmer, and just cook for 10 minutes. Then immediately remove the pasta from the pot using the same stainless steel spider strainer.
How to cook stovetop Mac and Cheese?
First, cook the dry Macaroni pasta and then toss it with a tablespoonful of extra virgin olive oil and set it aside.
The second is to pan-fry the Macaroni with butter, black pepper, and salt, for about 2-3 minutes. Melt the butter first. Also, remember to whisk black pepper and salt together first and then sprinkle over the Macaroni in a circular motion.
The third is to continue to stir fry the Macaroni with cheese, milk, and flour. Whisk the flour in the milk to combine before pouring it into the pan.
When the Macaroni is perfectly coated with melted cheese, turn off the heat, sprinkle with paprika, and serve hot.
Enjoy an easy, healthy, and yummy stovetop Mac and Cheese!