I guess I really don't know where the recipe actually came from. All I know is I learned it from my mother who prepared it for me nearly every anniversary of my birth. I requested it every year and mama happily made a couple of giant Corningware casserole dishes full of this ooey gooey delight--enough to feed a family much larger than ours and yet by midnight even the leftovers would be gone! You could walk into the darkened kitchen, quietly lifting a fork out of the drawer and turn toward the leftover pan only to nearly stab another family member already standing protectively over the dish.
My family today almost never enjoys this comforting dish since the carbs and fat are a no no. But when my wife asked me to cook dinner for her choir retreat, which I have done for almost 15 years now, we started brainstorming. Most years we do a carb fest of one type or another anyway--spaghetti or lasagne. I had been doing Costco frozen lasagne for years and I was tired of it. Tired of serving up a frozen dinner to college kids who pretty much survive on that kind of diet and tired of the routine. The kids love home cooking so why not our macaroni and cheese?
This recipe is as easy as they get, very filling and cheap to make, all three important features for this particular dinner. So here it is:
Mama's Macaroni and Cheese
2 pounds elbow macaroni
2 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
In a large pot of salted, boiling water add the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Pour off into a colander. Drain well.
Using a cheese shredder, shred all the cheese into a bowl.
In a baking dish place a layer of the macaroni. Lightly salt and pepper the macaroni. Spread a layer of the cheese over the macaroni. Repeat this process twice more.
Bake the dish in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and crisp and the interior miost and gooey.
Yep, that's it! I told you it was easy. No sauces to make. Just mac and cheese. Once you've tried this you'll never go back to that Kraft box! Bon Apetit!