Spicy Mac n Cheese

Mac n cheese is one of my guilty pleasures in life. Ever since I was a child, I have loved mac n cheese. Since then, I have come a long way in my exploration of making it; from velveeta single-serving cups in college to homemade spicy mac n cheese now. It has taken me years to come up with my perfect mac n cheese. I used to think the only way you could make it properly was with a roux, but I hated the texture. If you have found yourself in this predicament, this is the recipe for you! Soft, creamy, and smooth, my mac n cheese is a breeze to make and a pleasure to eat.

Ingredients

  • 2 c water
  • 1 c elbow pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp ras al hanout*
  • sprinkle of cayenne*
  • 1 c evaporated milk*
  • 1 tbsp butter*
  • 3 oz cheddar cheese*
  • 4 oz gouda cheese*

Recipe

This mac n cheese is not traditional; we’re going to cook everything together in one pan, preferably a skillet or wok. Add the water to the pan and let it boil. While it comes to a boil, grate your cheese. It might seem like a lot of cheese, because it is! And it explains why this recipe my guilty pleasure!

Once the water is boiling, add your salt and pasta and let cook for about 2/3 the time listed on the package. Once 2/3 time has elapsed, add the spices and evaporated milk. Now cook until your pasta is tender according to your preference.

If at any point it seems like there is not enough liquid in the pan, add some more water or milk. It definitely won’t hurt, just make sure not to add too much as you can’t take it out. If it does seem that you added too much liquid, don’t fret. The more you stir your pasta and liquid, the more liquid will evaporate, so stir away.

Once, your pasta is tender, and the liquid situation looks good (you still want a little liquid in the pan to help the cheese coat the pasta well), turn off the heat and stir in your cheese. Now your spicy and indulgent mac n cheese is ready to devour!

*You absolutely don’t have to add the spices, but I think they make it better. Use whatever cheese you desire: all cheddar, colby jack, vegan cheese. Butter and milk are optional as well, just make sure you substitute the milk with a non-dairy version.

**Many thanks to Franki Celenza for opening my eyes to cooking mac n cheese this way!

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