Mac & Cheese has somehow not held me in thrall though this largely American dish seems to be a sure fire crowd pleaser. I used to be mystified about the various recipes that peppered the foreign magazines my circulating library in Chennai delivered. There was “classic Mac n Cheese”, “Mac n Cheese with a twist”, “Mom’s secret recipes” – I couldn’t imagine the to-do over what is essential cooked macaroni baked with a rich cheese sauce. Apparently, this dish became even more popular when Kraft introduced its instant version, packaged as a “meal in a box”, where the cheese sauce was made from powder base – this idea got a big boost with the World War II rationing and working women which meant that meat, dairy products and time were all in short supply.
Now, I’m no food snob and actively encourage the “to each his own” attitude; I suspect that the blandness of this dish is what makes me stay away. We usually like a nice pesto pasta and an Arrabiata sauce is also a great favourite with us. My daughter who dotes on pasta usually gets a version which has lots of veggies in it, a mild tomato sauce which is finished with a dash of milk and gratings of cheese.
But there are those days when you crave carbs and lots of cheese – okay, okay, not you, It’s just me! But I do. This cheesy bake was made on one such day. I did put in veggies though, since I couldn’t imagine eating just pasta and cheese and also added a couple of tablespoons of pureed tomatoes to give it some more flavour. It's a modified version of Mac & Cheese I guess....
It was deliciously satisfying to cut into that cheesy white sauce covered bake…..so tell me, what do you do when the craving for carb strikes? What is the dish that acts as an immediate remedy? – is it rice and sambar? Or khichdi? Or aloo paratha?
Cheesy Pasta Bake