Cold Weather Comfort Food

7 Dec

by Green Gourmet L

Brrrrr… it just got cold in DC. I think it was 35 for most of the day yesterday. Time to pull out the long coats. And the comfort foods! Mr. Green Gourmet  is easy to please when it comes to comfort foods. His absolute favorite is Mac and Cheese. In college (and maybe after) we were definitely fans of the blue box M&C. And there was always Easy Mac, in a pinch in the dorms. But now, we’re all grown up and we need an all grown up version of this childhood favorite. I tend to go with traditional Mac (real butter, milk, cheese), but there are ways to sneak some healthy stuff in there too. Tomorrow, we’ll share a new twist on an old favorite so y’all come back now!

Grown up Mac and Cheese

Credit is given to Barefoot Contessa, but I tweaked it a bit 😉


1 pound cavatappi

4 cups skim milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups of cheese *we used shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella, but swiss would also be good

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 medium fresh tomatoes

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (3 slices)- note: we make our own breadcrumbs in a food processor (just tear your bread and buzz it!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook and drain the cavatappi according to box directions (8 minutes) in well salted water.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.

While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.

Off the heat, add the cheese, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add the cooked pasta and stir well.

Don’t you want to eat it like this? I do! But for those of you with self-restraint: pour into a glass baking dish. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Pulse the fresh bread in a food processor to create bread crumbs and sprinkle on top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Enjoy your grown-up food and don’t forget you read it on Green Gourmets! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where you will get the Green Gourmet’s version of Mac and Cheese with a twist. It will be our secret!

To print this recipe, visit:


4 Responses to “Cold Weather Comfort Food”

  1. Non Gourmet J December 7, 2010 at 10:54 AM #

    Holy crap, L, that looks AMAZING!!!!! Can’t wait to try it…maybe tonight!

    • thegreengourmets December 7, 2010 at 11:14 AM #

      Thanks Non Gourmet J (cute name!). Hope you enjoy the recipe, it’s one of my all-time favorites! (and Mr. Green Gourmet’s too)

  2. Matt December 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM #

    This is a terrific blog — I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that it is the best blog on the Internets right now. I look forward to many more entries to come!

    Reading this post makes me want to make this mac and cheese for dinner tonight…

    • thegreengourmets December 7, 2010 at 11:13 AM #

      Thanks Matt, that’s sweet of you to say! We’re glad you like our blog. Hope you enjoy that Mac and Cheese tonight, and let us know how it turns out ;).

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