- 1lb elbow macaroni
- ~15oz ricotta cheese
- 1lb any other shredded, mellow cheese
- 1 egg
- 1lb sharp cheddar cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350°f
- Mix ricotta cheese, egg, and 8oz of cheese together until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
- Boil macaroni according to directions. Drain.
- Coat oven-safe baking dish with cooking spray or with butter.
- Put macaroni and cheese mixture together in baking dish. Stir together until cheese is well distributed. Smooth out.
- Coat top of macaroni and cheese mixture with sharp cheddar cheese.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until top is browned and bubbling.
- Take out, let sit for 5-10 minutes. Serve.
If you want, add strips of bacon to the top, bake until cooked and brown. Serves a good number of gamers with complaints of “make more next time.” Quantities shown is having it as a side-dish. You’ll want to double everything if its to be a main dish.
I really want to thank my good friend Tracey . Over 15 years ago she gave me a recipe for her crock-pot macaroni and cheese. It was AMAZING, and a much better dish than this. The problem is I could never get it right! It always turned out poorly, at least poorly compared to hers. My solution was to give up on the crock pot and turn it into a baked dish. This is, to date, one of the few recipes I have that actually gets requested from time to time.
While I’ve toyed with the recipe over the years, usually towards simplification, the ratio of 2lbs of shredded cheese per 1lb of pasta has remained the same. I’m not sure what inspired this, except remembering the delightful ricotta from my lasagna (another requested dish of mine that’s far too much work). So, 1lb shredded cheese, ~1lb fresh cheese (ricotta this time), and 1lb of pasta? Works amazingly well. Its also lightened the feel of the dish considerably, since the shredded cheese on the bottom of the dish often contributed to making it feel much thicker, heavier, and like a cheese brick.
The real brilliance of the dish is how simple it is, relatively speaking. Even Tracey’s version (which I could never get right!) was pretty simple, ingredients wise, and so very satisfying. Homey, even. Definite comfort food, at home during a summer dinner or the cold of winter.