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Do you have to bake it?
Hi Rob, no, you don’t have to bake it. All of the elements are already cooked. But if you bake it, you’ll get that lovely crunch of the baked breadcrumb topping.
I discovered, inadvertently, that left over spaghetti bolognese, with a little milk (or evaporated milk) added and baked for 15 or so minutes, makes the most divine dish. It turned the spaghetti from delicious el dente into the soft stuff one gets from a can – but much, much nicer.
Has this recipe been changed at all? I have made this for years for my kids… tonight, two batches failed… the cheese sauce broke as soon as I added it to the mac & milk. Twice.
Whole milk, full- fat white block cheddar I grated, and the same high protein pasta I have always used. Grated fresh nutmeg and white pepper.
If anyone has any ideas, please share. As I said, I have made this for years. The sauce has never broken. Nothing has changed as far as ingredients I used and have always used.
I am baffled and very disappointed.
Hi Astrid, weird! No, the recipe has not changed. No idea why that happened to you.
Mine did the same. I wonder if both my sauce and the milk were too hot?
I find that when tried and tested recipes fail with the same ingredients, it’s because some element of it has been manufactured differently. I repeatedly failed with bread-making of all things which has risen and cooked beautifully for 35 years! The reason, experts told me, is because the flour manufacturer now adds budget Russian- grown wheat flour as a substitute to the locally-grown flour I’ve always been used to.
Russia is second only to the USA as a world flour exporter but the USA imports hundred of billions of tons of Russian flour . Who would have think it?
not the best… just ok
This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. My mom made this for me for years, and as a sophomore in college, I’m constantly homesick for it and make it for myself. A great soul-warming dish.
I have been looking for a more simple to make homemade Mac and cheese and this one turned out amazing! I made it last weekend for a get together and it was a huge success! I didn’t stray too far from the original recipe. I used 2% milk, cheddar cheese and just salt, pepper and parsley for the seasoning. I just saw others who commented that were having issues with it and I’m not sure why. I did omit some of the butter because I did have leftover milk with the noodles but after baking it in the oven, I think the excess butter and milk would be fine. I would definitely recommend this recipe to a friend!!
This a mushy mess with terrible texture, unedible. Will not make again.
Not a fan, the dish turned out grainy. Won’t make it again
I’ve made this several times (ok, MANY–I’m a mac and cheese fiend), and I have found that 4 cups of milk is consistently -way- too much milk for me. I suspect this happens because I’m afraid of the milk curdling, and therefore cook it at a rather low temp (and probably for longer than the recipe calls for, though I confess I have not timed it), so the pasta absorbs less of the milk but is tenderized by its acidity, kind of like it has been marinated. In any case, the texture of the pasta when cooked this way is incomparable–I just need to figure out how much milk to actually use.
Would highly recommend sticking with whole milk, as per the recipe. It doesn’t turn out nearly as well with 2%. I shudder to think what it would be like with skim.
I’ve also started subbing out a bit of the cheddar with parmesan and adding some dijon mustard to heighten the flavor. My favorite cheddar to use for this dish, or any mac and cheese, is Cabot’s Vermont Extra Sharp. Some of the others I’ve tried have been on the bland side.
Was hoping for a good result on this recipe – yours are usually so awesome! But ended up with a gross mess of oily cheese in the extra pot, and then had to stir so much to get it to mix with the larger pot my noodle broke apart… to left overs today and it was gritty and gross… I will be following the broccoli Cheddar mac and cheese recipe from here on out! That one is perfect. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/broccoli_cheddar_mac_and_cheese/
I made this recipe and reviewed it here: http://misslyndaj.blogspot.com/2011/12/civil-war-macaroni-and-cheese.html
I have to say this is the first time I’ve tried once of your recipes and it hasn’t worked out like I expected. I may have done something wrong but I’m confused about the step that involves melting the cheese and the butter separately. It’s really hard to turn it into a sauce without involving the milk, and when my shredded cheese had fully absorbed the butter it had turned into one large chunk of cheese, making it very difficult to blend it with the pasta + milk in the other sauce pan. Also once the pasta had baked and cooled down a bit, it seemed that it had absorbed all the milk (though there was a creamy milk + cheese sauce when it went into the oven) and it was no longer creamy, just cheesy + the breadcrumbs. Any tips?
It’s so hard to tell, every brand of cheese is different. Could be what works for you needs more milk. Perhaps adding some milk to the cheese in the separate pan. Perhaps adding more milk to the macaroni before it goes in the oven. Although I made this several times with cheddar, I would like to try it again with Parmesan, which according to one Civil War expert I recently read was more common than cheddar and would have been more likely to have been used in this recipe. That would probably make it even less like the mac and cheese that we have become accustomed to. ~Elise
My mother makes this…try using half cheddar and half Velveeta cheese. Not authentic, but works great.
Great recipe!. I often try these older recipes and somehow something just doesn’t work out. This one did and it’s so good! Thanks for posting!
I realllllllllllllllllllly liked this
Macaroni during the 1850s and 60s was “pipe macaroni” and was similar to the noodles that come with packages of Mac and Cheese today.
Here’s another Civil War Era Macaroni and Cheese Recipe:
Just whipped this up in under an hour–delicious! I think it’s going to replace my mother’s tasty but elaborate macaroni casserole with bechamel sauce.
Served this tonight for dinner party. I thought I had a box of elbow macaroni in the pantry but they turned out to be penne pasta. Still, the dish was a hit. Used sharp yellow cheddar & some leftover white garlic cheddar. Had some doubts about boiling the pasta in milk, but it was delicious & everyone had seconds.
This has become my go-to mac and cheese recipe! It’s so easy and requires so little prep and active time. I’ve been making it once a week or so because my 4-year old loves it and actually gets excited about eating dinner when I make it. I do it all in one pot instead of making the cheese sauce separately. I’ve successfully halved and doubled the recipe (the doubled recipe is especially easy to remember — one box of pasta, one stick of butter, one carton of milk, one pound of cheese!) I’ve made it with 2% milk and it still tastes good but the sauce is a little lumpy. I usually use a blend of jack and cheddar.
I tried this and it curdled horribly. I was doubling the recipe — using 1 pound of pasta. The pasta did not even come close to absorbing all the milk. I am wondering if it is because I used a low-fat milk. I’m guessing that when the recipe was written they would have used only whole milk.
I made this last night with the Steak Diane recipe. I think I prepared the meal in about 45 minutes including a salad. It was fantastic! Thanks again for another great recipe.