Pasta needs no introduction. It has become a part of almost all households. Children especially love this cheesy pasta. As an after school snack or a wholesome meal the pasta is always a hit.
The real pleasure is in watching those little ones open their eyes wide, give an extra-large smile and dive into the bowl of these extra cheesy pastas.
I have chosen the macaroni pasta but you can also go for ones like the shell or penne.
The tricky part is the cheese sauce. The presence of onion helps prevent lumps to a great extent. Besides that, remember to remove the pan from the flame while pouring the milk. Use a whisk instead of a spatula to mix the milk evenly.
DO NOT add the salt to the sauce while cooking. Let the milk boil, the cheese melt in it and reach the right consistency. When you are assured that it requires no further cooking remove the cheese from the flame and add the salt.
REMEMBER we are dealing with milk products here and hence the extra caution. Salt, when added to the milk or the sauce while cooking, may cause it to curdle. And this I tell you from experience.
Here we have the recipe for making the easy cheesy pasta.
- Macaroni pasta – 1 cup
- Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped
- Whole wheat flour – 1 tbsp
- Milk – 1 cup
- Cheese – 1 cup grated + ¼ cup for topping
- Cooked chicken shreds – 1 cup (optional)
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Dry basil
In a large dish take 4 cups of water, half a teaspoon of salt and set it to boil. When it starts boiling add the pasta to the water and stir well. Make sure you have stirred all the pasta in the dish and none remain at the bottom.
If pasta is not stirred well, some will stick to the bottom of the dish.
Cook for around 5-8 minutes. When half done turn off the heat and cover the dish. The heat inside will help the pasta cook.
Now the sauce –
Heat the olive oil in a thick bottom pan.
Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. The onion should cook till soft NOT brown.
Add the flour to the onion and cook. The flour will be done when it stops smelling raw, just a couple of minutes.
Now it time to pull up your sleeves and get ready for some quick action. You need to add the milk to the pan and prevent lumps from forming. Follow these steps and you will get smooth creamy sauce:
- Grab a whisk
- Remove pan from fire
- Holding pan with one hand pour ¼ of the milk and immediately stir the ingredients. If you prevent lumps at this stage you are through.
- When you know the all the flour is mixed in the sauce pour the rest of the milk, stirring continuously.
- Return to flame and cook.
When the milk is about to boil add the 1 cup grated cheese and stir well.
The sauce should be cooked for a couple of minutes but not allowed to boil.
Add salt and pepper and stir once again.
Let’s go back to the pasta –
remember we had left it in the bowl with the water?
Reserve a cup of the water and drain the pasta. We might need this to adjust the sauce consistency.
Pour the pasta in your serving dish. If you are adding chicken add at this stage.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well.
The ¼ cup grated will now be used as topping. Cover the top of the pasta and sauce with grated cheese and dry basil.
When ready to eat just put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and you will have a hot cheesy pasta meal ready.
Grab your spoons and dive in! SLURP! SLURP!