As Lady Summer makes her graceful exit, her rambunctious son Fall has clearly stated he’s here to stay for a bit. It’s this time of the year when I crave comfort food like creamy gratins, hearty soups and baked pastas.
My Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese has been, by far, one of the most popular recipes I have ever posted on this site. It had been awhile since I have dived into the piles of cheesy shells, so I thought a chilly rainy day in Pittsburgh would be the perfect time for a revisit.
Instead of going the slow cooker route, I made a few tweaks to accommodate a traditional baked variety. Also, this was a perfect way to try out my new gratin dishes. Aren’t they cute?
- 1 lb. medium pasta shells
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 8 oz Velveeta, cubed
- 10 oz. Colby cheese, shredded
- salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta shells in salted boiling water until just slightly underdone. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the butter is completely absorbed. Slowly add the milk and heavy cream while whisking at the same time. Continue to whisk for 3 – 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Do not allow the sauce to boil. Sprinkle in the nutmeg. Remove from heat and add Velveeta and Colby cheese at once. Stir until the cheeses have melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Lightly coat 6 gratin dishes with cooking spray. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and toss until completely combined. Evenly spoon the pasta in the gratin dishes. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 2 – 3 minutes before serving.