New, never-before-seen cooking techniques are an obsession for many. In the past year, how many of us have tried baking a whole block of feta cheese in pasta? Or, cooking eggs in pesto? But just because something is new, it doesn’t mean it’s better.
The Pasta Queen reminds us that old-school recipes and textbook techniques actually work quite well—and the results are absolutely yummy. The proof the TikToker offers up is the recipe for her “400-Year-Old Mac and Cheese Bake.”
A Centuries-Old Recipe
To begin, the Pasta Queen says to make a basic Béchamel sauce. Start by melting butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, then add the same amount of flour and whisk it in. Gradually add some warmed milk and a pinch of salt, while whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken.
Next, add some cooked pasta (rigatoni, macaroni, and penne are all good choices) to the warm bechamel sauce, and mix in cubes of Fontina cheese and grated Parmesan “with passion.” Toss everything together, then top it all off with more Parmesan, ground pepper, and a few slices of butter to make the dish “soft but powerful—just like you are.”
The final step of this cheesy masterpiece is to bake it in the oven until the top is a bubbly golden brown.
No Formal Measurements
Just because this recipe for Mac and Cheese Bake is centuries old, that doesn’t mean it has any formal measurements. Just make sure you have the basic ingredients and use your best judgement. We promise, the result will be rich and tasty.
Once again, those ingredients are:
- Fontina cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Ground pepper
For the Béchamel sauce, about four tablespoons of butter and flour plus two to three cups of milk should do the trick for a half-pound of cooked pasta. When it comes to cheese and seasoning, just eyeball it and have fun experimenting.
As for the actual baking part, about 10 minutes in the oven at 400°F should get the desired golden-brown, bubbly result.
Simple Techniques And Ingredients
Tossing some cooked noodles around in a classic Béchamel sauce and then adding a ton of cheese and butter isn’t a revolutionary idea. After all, this recipe has been around for 400 years. But The Pasta Queen reminds us that simple techniques and ingredients can yield fantastic, delicious dishes.
If you want to get creative, try different cheeses or add breadcrumbs as a topping. Maybe play around with different pasta shapes, or add some extra spices for a little kick of flavor.
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