I have been in such a mood for homemade “mac and cheese” but I knew I really did not want our old version; while it was thick and creamy it was also loaded with fat and heavy. I wanted to retain the feel and richness but without the guilt. I think I’m there! I’ve tried finding an alternative to the Velveeta but it does add enough to the taste and feel that I’ve left it in place. Some of the changes: browning the butter, reducing the cheese, adding skim milk, adding Melba toast topping.
Smart Choice, Healthy Living “Mac” and Cheese
2 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
4 cups milk (I used 2 c skim, 2 cup 1% but you could use all of one kind)
freshly ground pepper to taste (about 1/4 – 1/2 tsp)
4 oz Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, freshly shredded
4 oz part skim Mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
4 oz 2% (or light) Velveeta, cubed
1 lb pasta, I prefer cavaptelli over elbow or shells but either works.
Garlic Melba toasts, crushed (about 1/4 -1/2 cup), optional
Preheat oven to 400*F, spray a large pan (9×13 is good) with non-stick.
Cook pasta according to box instructions. Drain when cooked to preferred firmness ( al dente is good).
In a heavy bottom sauce pan melt the butter and allow it to brown just a bit, being careful that it does not burn. With a whisk make a roux by sprinkling the flour on the butter and whisking until it appears dry. Slowly whisk in milk until the flour is fully incorporated. Add pepper and stir occasionally until it starts to thicken. Add in cheddar until melted and then Velvetta and mozzarella cheeses. Add drained pasta to the pan and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle on the crushed Melba toasts if using.
Place in pre-heated oven and heat until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.