Everyday Food: It all starts with mac ’n’ cheese

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Three-cheese macaroni Serves 4 Serve with a crunchy salad or steamed green beans to round out the meal. • Coarse salt • 1 pound elbow macaroni • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 4 cups whole milk, room temperature • 3/4 teaspoon ground mustard • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning • 8 ounces white cheddar, shredded (3 cups) • 4 ounces Monterey Jack, shredded (1 1/2 cups) • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup) 1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain. 2. In pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes. 3. Whisking constantly, slowly add milk. Cook, whisking along bottom of pot, until boiling, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon butter, mustard, Old Bay and cheeses. Stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth; season with salt. Add macaroni to sauce and stir to combine. Nutritional information per serving: 749 calories, 39 grams fat (23 grams saturated fat), 35 grams protein, 65 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 47 percent of calories from fat.
Baked tomato casserole Serves 4 • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 1 small yellow onion, diced small • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes • 4 cups reserved three-cheese macaroni • 3 tablespoons sour cream • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves • Coarse salt • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice and cook until tomatoes are heated through, about 2 minutes. Add reserved three-cheese macaroni, gently stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and basil; season with salt. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish, top with breadcrumbs, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until sauce is bubbling at edges and breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Nutritional information per serving: 636 calories, 36 grams fat (18 grams saturated fat), 25 grams protein, 55 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 51 percent of calories from fat.
Sausage and spinach Alfredo Serves 4 • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes • 4 cups reserved three-cheese macaroni • 2 tablespoons heavy cream • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 cups), washed • Shredded Parmesan, for serving In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add sausages and red-pepper flakes and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add reserved three-cheese macaroni to skillet, gently stirring to combine. Stir in heavy cream and spinach, and cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan. Nutritional information per serving: 667 calories, 37 grams fat (19 grams saturated fat), 34 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 50 percent of calories from fat.

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“Everyday Food” magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals — from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. For more recipes and additional tips, visit Questions or comments about the column should be sent to

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