Ready for melt in your mouth Mac & Cheese? This comes with a little “kick” of course.
My Dad used to make this Macaroni and Cheese for us. It soon became a tradition to burn it a little on the side for that crispy cheesey flavor. Of course, the first time dinner was burned, my Dad was mortified. Our Mom was out and he was burning the kids dinner. Not wanting him to feel bad, my brother and I told him how much we loved it over his apologies. Good we really did love it as from that point on, it was always just a tad burned.
My family has been making this recipe from at least the 1940’s. The burning version was added in the late 50’s or early 60’s. Once your soul is warmed by Daddy’s Mac & Cheese, you will pass this recipe on in your family for generations just as we have done. Just can’t get enough. A smile with every bite.
1 pound sharp (or extra sharp) cheddar cheese Tips: We only use Kraft chunks of cheese for this recipe. Do not use shredded cheese. Extra Sharp Cheese has less moisture and will have a slightly affect the casserole
1 pound elbow macaroni Tips:Try other pasta if you want after you first use elbow. There is a slight difference in moisture and cook time with other pasta shapes.
2 of 15 oz cans Hunts tomato sauce. Tips: We only use Hunts regular for this recipe.
For a little extra “kick” experiment with one of these two items: A little garlic powder sprinkled on the layers or in the tomato sauce. Grated Parmesan cheese on the top before placed into the oven.
Casserole dish – clear glass works best for the burned sides. For the purpose of pictures, we will use a vintage white glass Corelle dish.
Ii you want to make a smaller amount, cut the ingredients in half using a smaller casserole dish. The pictures show the smaller version.
- Cook elbow macaroni according to the instructions on the box
- Cut up cheese into small thin squares while macaroni is cooking.
- lightly rinse elbow macaroni and Drain well
You are now ready to assemble.
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
- Place half of the elbow macaroni into the casserole dish
- Cover the layer of plain macaroni with one can of the tomato sauce – spread evenly with a spatula
- Layer one half of the cut cheese over the macaroni and tomato sauce – right up to the edges.
- Add the rest of the elbow macaroni evenly
- Pour the second can of tomato sauce on the top of the cheese – spread this layer evenly with a spatula
- Layer the remaining half of the cut cheese evenly across the macaroni – right to the edges
- Bake for 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven
For the cheesy crust on the side, turn off the oven after 30 minutes and let sit in the oven until sufficiently burned on the sides. Yes, the dish may have to soak – but from one who hates scrubbing dishes, this recipe is well worth it!
We traditionally serve with brussel sprouts.
Enjoy for generations!