One of the weirdest things about being a food blogger is that a simple cold can leave you totally out of commission. I’m on week two of a terrible one and well, it’s kind of impossible to test recipes when you can’t actually taste anything. Now that I’m finally starting to feel a little better, I’m craving soup, pasta, and other comfort foods like this mac and cheese, which has been making a regular appearance on our dinner table all winter.
I saw this one pot technique, where you boil the macaroni in milk instead of water, on White on Rice Couple ages ago. I didn’t try it right away, but it had been tugging at the back of my mind for a while. Then, over the fall, I came across this apple sauce mac and cheese from Adventures in Cooking and I knew it was finally time to give it a try.
The pasta releases starch into the milk as it cooks, resulting in the richest, creamiest mac and cheese I’ve ever eaten. It’s a little insane how creamy it is. Apple butter might sound like a weird addition – and I’ll admit that it is – but it works. (Just like cheddar melted over a piece of apple pie is an unexpectedly delicious treat.)
- 2 cups miniature shell shaped pasta (I used Barilla FiberPlus)
- 2 cups skim milk
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup apple butter
- Salt and pepper
- Combine the uncooked pasta, milk, and garlic powder in a 5-quart pan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the milk had absorbed and the pasta is soft – 15-20 minutes. Stir in the cheese and apple butter. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir again and season with salt and pepper before serving.