For decades now, I've written shortened versions of this simple and savoured family casserole recipe on little squares of paper, napkins, sticky notes, in pocket diaries--, and even the name of a favourite cheese in the palm of someone's hand. Yes, for the love of cheese (once again), and our coming together around the dinner table gatherings. We really can't go wrong with this warm dish-- the egg saves us, each and every time with keeping things polished and 'together' literally. At the same time, we don't want to overdo or under do it with our cheese, missing out on the blended glory it truly is as a super-tasty one-dish meal anytime of the day. Balance remains key.
The variations are endless: from our pasta choices to our select cheeses, and whether we decide to mix all our ingredients together before baking, or go for the layered effect. Some folks also top the casserole midway during baking time with corn flakes for a crunchy taste. I have a thing for seriously crispy cheese edges and crusts, and whenever I can get away with it, will let the casserole bake an extra 5 - 7 minutes to make its way there. After decades of sharing this cheese-y recipe with family, friends, and a few right there and then during the enjoyment of such, I'm finally making a semi-formal moment of it with my go-to ingredients and steps below. Enjoy.~
Music and more to go after the jump. Have a cozy weekend. ~xx
This week's favourite background track compliments of my beloved ♫ Satin Jackets ...
2 teaspoons butter (to grease a large deep baking dish)
1/2 box (approx 2 cups) of Catelli's (Gluten Free) Macaroni
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (to salt the macaroni-water pot)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups (shredded) medium (orange) cheddar cheese
2 cups (shredded) extra-sharp (white) cheddar (we love Ford Farm's Coastal Cheddar)
2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 generous pinch of fresh ground black or white pepper
1 can (354 mL/ 1 1/2 cups) of evaporated milk
Bring 12 cups of water to a boil, add the salt and stir.
Add the macaroni and olive oil, stir and boil uncovered for 6 - 8 minutes.
Drain the water and set aside to release any excess.
Grease the baking dish with the butter.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then blend in the evaporated milk.
Set the oven to 350 F.
Begin layering: Sprinkle a few shreds of both cheeses on the bottom, add 2 cups of the cooked and drained macaroni, and then 1 cup each of both cheddars. Top with a generous 1 cup sprinkling of the Parmesan cheese and then the ground pepper. Repeat to create a second layer with just a tad of the ground pepper this time.
Pour the milk mixture over the unbaked mac and cheese layers and let stand for 5 minutes.
Place the dish in the oven for 40 - 50 minutes (but begin checking at the 35 minute mark). An inserted knife will come out fairly clean once ready, and the top will be a lovely golden brown colour.
Remove from the oven and allow to mellow out for 20 minutes. Slice and serve warm.
Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days and enjoy as a nuked next day breakfast, lunch, and/ snack. #delish
Special thanks to Catelli. #Sponsored