Among the less common types of pasta for mac and cheese, bow ties have a solid following. The relatively flat shape of Marseille provides surfaces where add-in ingredients can shine, whether you favor fresh herbs, delicate baby peas or kid-friendly options like diced hot dogs.
One positive is that they make for a heartier meal and give each mouthful a satisfying degree of “chew.” Ordinary macaroni can become soft and mushy if you're not careful, but it won't happen with penne.
The whole point of a well-constructed mac and cheese is to coat the pasta liberally with the creamy, cheesy sauce. Their spiral shapes cover the entire surface of the noodle with ridged grooves where the sauce can cling, whether yours is painstakingly scratch-made or whipped up from a package.
Fusible and rating are sturdy enough to eat comfortably with a fork, but they're still small enough to fit equally well into a spoon. No one specific variety is an especially common choice for macaroni and cheese, but when you take them all together, those specialty shapes add up to a reasonably popular option.
Some of that popularity is a function of their appearance: With the right die, a pasta-maker can turn out noodles that look like robots, spaceships, dinosaurs, cartoon characters and a world of other shapes to attract kids' attention. If you're trying to cut down on carbs or simply get more vegetables and fiber into your kids, you can swap out the traditional pasta for a variety of different options.
Other good options include spiralized vegetables, such as winter squashes, zucchini or even rutabagas, simmered gently until just tender and then tossed with the sauce. Their pasta-like shapes are made from the starch of an Asian root vegetable, but because they're almost all fiber, they're suitable for low-carb eaters.
To start the béchamel sauce, sauté shallots and garlic in butter in a small saucepan and cook until translucent. Begin adding milk in stages to the mixture, whisking constantly and cook 5 – 10 minutes stirring to ensure a smooth consistency.
Remove pan from oven, top with chopped parsley and serve. To make your own breadcrumbs, start with day old bread, cut into large chunks and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.
If there's one thing we hate, it's a bad batch mac & cheese. And the number one mistake when making it at home is using the wrong kind of cheese.
The type you choose is extremely important for the taste and texture of the sauce. After what felt like an endless amount of testing for our quest to find *the* perfect recipe, we discovered which cheeses work best ...and which ones to avoid at all costs.
It melts beautifully and will give your mac a sophisticated taste without being too pretentious. Its saltiness helps cut through all the heavy fats, and its nutty flavor is one of our faves.
Its creamy smoothness makes an excellent sauce to coat your noodles and creates the most decadent mac & cheese. Best for topping, Parmesan also adds a much desired salty and nutty flavor that's unbeatable.
Packaged shredded cheese have added preservatives to keep them from sticking together and to keep them fresher. This keeps them from melting and will be how you end up with gritty, lumpy mac and cheese.
Dry, crumbly cheeses like feta or Scotia are not ideal. Because of their moisture levels they don't melt properly and will leave you with clumps of cheese instead of a smooth sauce.
It's also tasty with sharp cheddar and cream cheese instead of Gruyère and mascarpone. Stockpot, cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup butter and pepper flakes over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk.
Test Kitchen tips The Italian seasoning adds a lot of herb flavor to this creamy mac and cheese. The casserole only needs about 10 minutes in the oven to crisp up the crumb topping.