Slacker Hack: Macaroni and Real Actual Cheese

A while back I posted about how we are trying to limit processed junk in our house. Inspired my children’s absolute favorite comfort food, spaghetti carbonara (I swear by Lidia Bastianich’s recipe, although I use diced pancetta instead of regular bacon), we came up with a quick and dirty version that has made those blue boxes of mac & cheese a distant, uncomfortable memory in our house. I thought it might be helpful for families who can never sneak an egg into their kids’ diet. It’s just pasta with butter and cheese, but you add an egg yolk (protein!) while the pot is still hot enough to cook it. Basically:

  • Throw some pasta (any shape) into boiling water to cook.
  • While the pasta is cooking, separate an egg yolk (or two, if you’re doing a lot of pasta) and get some butter ready (diced into small, easy-melting pieces). You’ll also need shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately return it to the hot pot.
  • Quickly stir in some butter.
  • Quickly toss in an egg yolk (or two, if it’s a lot of pasta) and stir; the heat from the pot should be enough to cook it.
  • Toss in a handful of shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Serve.

My kids gobble this up;Iit’s much richer than plain old buttered noodles, and assuming you keep a big old jar of shredded parm in fridge like we do, there’s virtually no prep. I haven’t tried it with cheddar or other kinds of cheese.