Growing up, I remember macaroni and cheese as something that was bright orange and came out of a box. Of course, I loved it. But as an adult, I have a hard time serving that sort of stuff to my family.
So, I started making mac and cheese using Joy of Cooking’s Baked Macaroni recipe, but there’s not much in it—it’s good, but not terribly interesting or nutritious. I began tinkering, and came up with Not Yo Mamma’s Mac and Cheese. My kids, of course, point out that it is their mamma’s mac and cheese, but the name stuck anyway.
This recipe makes a generous meal for our family of four, with lots of leftovers for lunch the next day.
500 g package elbow macaroni
2 large carrots, diced
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn (thawed if frozen)
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 ½ cups grated cheese (pick your favourite)
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the macaroni. While macaroni is boiling, boil the carrots until just tender. Sauté the onion and celery in olive oil or butter until the onion is translucent. Add vegetables and cook just a few minutes longer, until everything is warm through. Mix in the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
Scald the milk, and beat in the eggs.
In a well-buttered casserole dish, layer macaroni, vegetables, and cheese, ending with a layer of cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle generously with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 190°C (375°F) for 30 minutes, until the egg is firm in the centre.