OH. EM. GEE. I was literally drooling over your mac n’ cheese!
I don’t know how you always do this, but you make it look so easy! Mine was literally a cheese grating nightmare, partially because my cheese grater wasn’t the “grate-st” (sorry for the extra cheese pun) but I HAD to have ALL FIVE CHEESES in this. I really wanted to try to make it as delicious and smothered in cheese as possible. And, needless to say, the extra (cheesy) effort did not disappoint. It delivered a pretty decent blend.
Basically, it worked out alright, because I decided to grate all of the cheese first and cover it and put it in the fridge whilst I focused on the other parts of this mac n’ cheese recipe.
So for this particular recipe, I used something that might sound like baloney to ya’ll, but that’s right, I’m bringing all the baloney back to this mac-aroni-attack! I’ve been dreaming about mac n’ cheese for a while now. And I’ve eaten it almost every week now this month, so… I thought, why not try a baloney (nonesense) bologna (meat from bologna, Italia) macaroni (a typical pasta – often referring to elbow macaroni, but I swapped out elbow mac to Orchietta and small shells pasta – because that’s what I had).
Anyway, I’ll get right to it. First off, here are the essentials below.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 TBS Butter
- 2 Cups of Milk (I used whole milk)
- Pasta. I used Orechiette and small shell, but you can use standard elbow macaroni or whatever pastas you have laying around. Fusilli, penne, etc.
- Some CHEESE & Cheese grater (and some shredded cheese) I think you need about a pound of cheese. I used 5 different cheeses and each different cheese filled 1 Cup. So about 5 Cups of cheese and some extra shredded sharp cheddar cheese of choice.
- Bologna from Bologna, or store bologna. I used bologna with pistachio – you can chop up about 1 or 2 Cups of this meat. It’s just a topper for your mac n’ cheese.
- 4 cloves of garlic (if you want it). I chopped them up and threw it in with bologna.
- 2 TSP Black Pepper (I used rainbow peppercorns)
- Hot sauce – I used Sriracha
- Masago is my secret ingredient! Masago is fish eggs. I got them at Bristol Farms in the sushi section and asked them for a bunch of those orange fish eggs aka Masago. I’m sure any supermarket or grocery store (or sushi place lol) carry fish eggs.
Mac n’ cheese is really an easy dish to make and I think it’s just the matter of following the steps, but the measurements don’t really matter and are completely up to you.
Order of operations is pretty key here though. Sometimes it helps to watch the steps all at once to get a visual. Skip to step 14 for a video of what I did. Then, read the instructions and add your own ingredients and make it yourself! 🙂
- First, I grated all the cheeses that I had. It took FOR.EV.ER. I set it on a plate, covered in with some cling film aka seran wrap and stuck it in the fridge. You can choose to use whatever cheeses you’d like, but I recommend having at least one sharp cheddar in the mix and a lot of it. I like that taste. The mushroom cheese and garlic and herb one really added a nice fragrance to the cheese blend. Almond cheese I threw in because it melts really grate… great lol.
- This next step might sound like baloney, but it actually… is… of the meat kind. So I started off with chopping the bologna into little squares – I rolled up the meat and sliced and diced them – then threw them onto a well buttered (or olive oil) skillet. I smashed the garlic & pistachios and put them all into the pan until they were nice and brown. It took about 15min. You can throw in some pepper here if you want.
- After the bologna, pistachio & garlic were all nicely browned, I set it aside. I kept it on the pan and just left it there as I prepped my pasta.
- I then boiled around 3 Cups of water in a pot and I threw in the pasta! I used a couple cups of Orechiette and Small Shell pasta. Make sure to put in a pinch of salt and drizzle in a bit of olive oil into the boiled water with your pasta. I always do.
- After I cooked a bit (I also cooked it to al dente) I drained it and set it aside in a bowl to rest. I keep a little cold water in the pasta bowl so doesn’t get stuck to each other.
- Time for the CHEESE! Okay, so take out all of the grated cheese from the fridge. In a pot, bring the two cups of milk to a simmer. Add the 1 TBS of butter.**Also, now would be a good time to preheat the oven to 400F degrees.**
- Throw in the cheese and stir constantly. You want it all to melt nicely together. It’s here that I sprinkled some ground rainbow peppercorns and added in the Sriracha hot sauce. I also threw in the masago (tiny orange fish eggs) I got like a good 3oz plastic cup worth of masago and threw it in there. It adds little crunchy texture, or it just disappears and adds a little salty taste to it, but overall, I like that it’s in there.
- When the cheese melted, I took the pasta and gently mixed it into the pot of cheeses and stirred the entire thing together. Technically, if you like and prefer creamy mac n’ cheese, this would be your final step to serve your dish. You could stop here and sprinkle your bologna bits on top and you’d be done. But I have a baking step! I like the crusted a little burnt cheese layer up top of my mac n’ cheese. So continue on!
- Next, take that pot of your pasta and cheese and pour it into a baking safe dish. THROW ON MORE SHREDDED CHEESE ON TOP! Stick it in the preheated 375F oven.
- Stick it in the preheated oven 375F. Wait about 30minutes. Check to see if the cheese is bubbling and turning orange/brown. That’s when it’s the best.
- Take it out of the oven when cheese is bubbling and delicious. Don’t forget your bologna bits on the pan. You want to sprinkle that on top of your mac n’ cheese.
- I like it when a mac n’ cheese dish looks like this. I literally scrape off the top and eat it. I like the crunchy and chewy cheese layer that forms above it. You can mash it all up together though if you’d like. Sprinkle bologna, pistachio & garlic up top!
- And that, my friend, is how to make my simply baloney bologna macaroni dish!
- Here’s a video of the entire process. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed that! I did! It’s easy to store mac and cheese in the fridge and reheat and eat the leftovers too. It’s such a simple and delicious classic dish that I love making.
I can’t wait for the start of October… 🙂
Until next week,