The original recipe called for standard macaroni noodles and no vegetables, but that's where your creativity comes in. My daughter made this the way she likes it best. She said that last time she made it she tried adding cooked broccoli, but she thought it changed the flavor and the texture was off. After tasting this yesterday (yum!) I'm thinking of other items to add too. This is definitely one of those you can make your own.
Now, I realize it's summer and we don't usually want to turn our ovens on, but around here we've been battling storm after storm, and we needed some comfort food. So we just cranked the air a little bit higher for a short while yesterday. And everything worked out just fine.
By the way, this makes enough for a party!
Mac and Cheese, plus...
6 cups of rotini pasta (there are two boxes pictured here. We only used one.
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
7.5 cups milk
9 cups of shredded cheese (we used cheddar, mozzarella, and cheddar-jack)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the rotini pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
Warm the milk in a deep saucepan. Stir in veggies and cook about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in all the cheese, and keep stirring until you have an even consistency.
Transfer half the cheese mixture to baking pans (we used two glass baking dishes), then add all the cooked noodles. Add the remaining cheese mixture. Stir so all noodles are evenly covered.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. At the end of the baking time, turn the oven heat up all the way to 500-550 and bake for an additional 5 minutes to give it a golden crust.
Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
I'm sure this recipe can be halved, but for right now, we're all delighted to have the leftovers. My daughter says it's even better the second day.
By the way, Pub Alley listed Grace Under Pressure as one of its mystery bestsellers last week!