I needed a simple side dish for my chicken salad lunch. I had seen this technique/recipe around several places but I’ll give the inspired by to Stephanie at Plain Chicken with her One Pot Mac and Cheese which was adapted from whiteonricecouple.com. If you need a mac and cheese recipe, Plain Chicken is the go to blog.
The basic idea is to use milk with the spices to cook the pasta. When done, mix in the cheese and you have tasty goodness. It works great.
It’s good and it’s easy.
Notes: this is NOT a mix and come back later recipe. You need to be there to stir frequently. So, if mac and cheese is all you’re doing, you might go for another recipe. But by the time you precook the pasta for other recipes, the hands on time is not much difference. I was working on the chicken salad so it just fit in fine. The White on Rice Couple site warns about not stirring enough and I’m sure they are right. If in doubt, stir more.
I think cooking time can vary due to pasta variations and your definition of simmer.
Get your act together.
Give 2 cups of pasta a quick rinse.
Mix in a nonstick medium sauce pan 2 cup milk, 1 T butter, 1 t garlic powder, 1/2 t paprika and 1/2 t dry mustard
Add 2 cups (about 8 oz of pasta).
Bring to a light boil over medium high heat stirring frequently. As soon as it starts to boil. Reduce heat to simmer uncovered. Continue to stir frequently. The milk will absorb and cook away over about 15-20 minutes. As you approach this point, test pasta for tenderness. It will probably not be done yet. Add 1/4 of milk and continue to cook and frequent stirring. You may need to repeat this again. I took 25 minutes and a total of 2 1/2 cups of milk total to finish the pasta.
When the pasta is tender and the milk mostly absorbed, add 1 cup of cheese (your choice), remove from heat and cover for minutes.
Give a good stir before serving.
January 1 2014