I seem to be posting lots of comfort foods lately, but I promise you, I'm not uncomfortable. I'm not experiencing discomfort either.
These foods just happen to be what I find enjoyable to make and eat, and there's nothing wrong with that. This dish is especially meaningful to me because it's something I've eaten all my life--it's my mom's recipe and she prepared it for us quite often.
This version's a little bit different from any other mac and cheese I've ever scarfed down, as it's baked and the cheese just sits on top and doesn't permeate throughout; the stuff from that beloved blue box is a distant, distant cousin. It's amazingly easy to make--you don't have to fiddle with a cheese sauce or a roux, but the inside is still creamy, thanks to some egg and milk.
I may have made some changes of my own over the years, but the basic idea is Mammy's. She might not fully condone the things I've added (more sugar?!? nutmeg?!?), but I'd still call it a team effort.
Mammy's Mac & Cheese (with Peas!)
- 8 ounces (1/2 box) elbow pasta
- 1 cup peas (frozen is fine)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-2 cups cheese of choice (I like a cheddar and pepper jack blend)
Cook the pasta as directed to reach an al dente consistency; drain well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 4-cup casserole dish.
Pour the drained pasta in the greased dish.
Sprinkle peas onto pasta.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Pour this mixture over the pasta and peas in the dish.
Top the pasta with the cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until nicely brown and crusty.