Youngest son’s main man, Dan (aged 8) is in the same league as my kids when it comes to being a bit finicky.

However a couple of times he has been here and I have asked if he wanted plain cheesy pasta. He is a no sauce sort of bloke but he agreed and this does have sauce but it’s white so I got away with it. He tells his Mum he likes it, and I am including it here just for her.

It’s a combination of a few recipes which I will list at the bottom* and turned into my own thing by being lazy and taking the best bits from each

My kids love mac and cheese in a packet, but it is full of crap, making your own is way better.

 

1 garlic clove crushed

a big dollop of butter, like a few tablespoons (and when I say butter, there better not be any margarine in this, not only is it horribly unhealthy but you need the real flavour of butter to make this a hit)

a handful of parmesan cheese grated

a handful of tasty or other domestic cheese grated

cream – 100ml or more

½ packet of pasta of your choice – let the kid choose

BACON

OPTIONAL – Diced streaky bacon (bacon makes everything better)

OPTIONAL – small bunch of oregano, no chopping, they can pick them out if they must

OPTIONAL – A few slices of stale bread, made into breadcrumbs in the food processor, or some premade breadcrumbs which is even easier

 

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Once it’s boiling pop in the pasta. While the pasta is cooking make the sauce

If using the crunchy bread top fry up the breadcrumbs in a large dollop of butter in a small frypan until brown

If using bacon : do not remove the fat, fry it up in a medium or large frypan until just about cooked, then go on to the next step

Frying Bacon in Butter

If not using bacon go from here: melt the butter (non stick is always better) and add the crushed garlic, cooking for a bit until its not brown but no longer raw, then add the optional oregano

Pour in the cream and gently heat, add the cheeses until they are melty and bubbly, if you can put a tiny bit of pepper in great

Adding cheese to pot

Ladle a ladleful of the pasta water into the sauce to make it a bit runny and easier to coat the pasta

Drain the pasta and add to the saucepan, stir it up so it covers the pasta

Serve with as many vegetables as you can make them eat and with the crunchy bread topping as above if you think they might like it, OR parmesan over the top and some S&P

OM NOM finished product

References for outstanding cheesy pasta

Jamie Oliver’s Pasta Bianco from Jamie’s Dinners P 184

Jamie Oliver’s Macaroni Cheese from Cook With Jamie P67 and also click here

Nigel Slater’s Macaroni Cheese from a friend’s cookbook but also published here under 12th October