Inspired by having recently divulged my guilty pleasures, I decided to take a stroll down mac & cheese alley and whip up this homemade take on another boxfood fave, blue box mac & cheese, spiral noodle variety. As a kid, there was something about the way the neon orange sauce clung to the spiral noodles (as opposed to the elbow mac) that really did it for me.
I knew I wanted creamy, cheesy noodles of some kind, but I also didn’t really want to mess with making a roux or grating a bunch of cheddar. Instead, I opted to go alfredo style, and I was eating quicker than I could say ‘easy mac.’
1 12 oz. box spiral pasta
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 clove garlic, pasted (or even less…I’m talking just a little)
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. Parmagiano-Reggiano, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
To melt the butter, place the tablespoon of butter in a microwave-safe dish with the tiny bit of garlic. You’re not really going to cook the garlic, so much as combine it with hot things, so don’t go overboard (unless you’re P.Dendle.)
Prepare pasta according to package instructions, but do not rinse. Toss pasta in butter, heavy cream, and cheese. Season, taste, and reseason as necessary. Sprinkle mo’ cheese on top for extra betterness.
I had some Broccoletti* on hand, so I sauteed it with the rest of that clove of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and cherry tomatoes. The sweet-tart cherry tomatoes gave a nice pop to the dish, and the bitterness of the Broccoletti provided a brief respite from the awesome creamitude of the alfredo sauce.
* A note on Broccoletti: Both Broccoletti and Broccolini are registered trademarks of Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan. It is a hibrid of broccoli and chinese broccoli. Broccoli Rabe, a closely related member of the brassica family (along w/ broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage,) occurs naturally and is not a trademarked name.
As enjoyable as the meal was that evening, the best part was definitely enjoying it again for lunch the next day!
Do you have a favorite leftover that you love having for lunch? Or are you more ‘one-night-only?’