It is a blustery, rainy day in Ottawa. We are experiencing the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. Can’t complain, it’s really not much different than a normal rainy October day. People south of us have really suffered through more devastating effects of the hurricane weather. That said, classic Halloween weather for this region puts me in the mood for comfort food and there is nothing that fits that bill more than mac and cheese. I’m sitting in Wag, a dog cafe, enjoying a cappuccino – Josie, the newest member of our family is beside me, happily gnawing an elk antler and making friends, human and canine. A soothing soundtrack and the warm orange glow of everything Halloween warm up an otherwise dreary day.
My “family” mac and cheese recipe hails originally from Canadian Living Magazine. I’ve been making it for 25 years and can no longer remember if I have made changes or if it is intact. I omit the salt because I find canned tomatoes salty enough. If you are using no-salt tomatoes, add salt. I like this recipe because it is cheesy, tomatoey and uses summer savoury, a Down East herb from my childhood. This version is vegetarian but you can fry up some burger and add it for more protein, calories and to see you through a hockey game. Typically I use elbow macaroni. Tonight I am using Mezzani Tagliati — long tubular pasta — but any short pasta will do.
Old-Fashioned Backed Macaroni and Cheese
250 grams Elbow Macaroni
250 grams Shredded Cheddar
28 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Summer savory
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Milk
1. Cook macaroni until tender but firm. Do not overcook. Drain and transfer to a greased 12 cup casserole. 2. Drain 3/4 cups of the juice from the tomatoes and discard. Pour tomatoes and remaining juice into bowl. Stir in half of the shredded cheese , sugar, savory, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce; pour over macaroni and mix well. Top with remaining cheese. 3. In a small bowl, blend eggs with milk; pour over cheese covered macaroni. DO NOT stir. Bake at 350℉ for 40 minutes until top is golden.
Click HERE for a printable version of this recipe.