I turned my go-to mac n cheese recipe into a trendy one-pot pasta recipe....yeah, it's officially hipster now. I was craving homemade smokey mac n cheese, yet had no oven.....lemme explain.....
The one-pot pasta craze has set in; if you haven't tried it yet it's going to blow your mind! No boiling a pot of water....no draining pasta...no pasta facials! Just enough liquids are added with the dried pasta creating an al dente-cooked macaroni and a creamy, velvety sauce. The smokey flavors are achieved by the use of canned fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked cheddar. Both alone are amazing, together with pasta: ta.die.for.
Subsequent to our departure we stayed at a Best Western Plus Eastgate in Regina for a week. Our suite was equipped with a two burner cooktop, refrigerator/freezer, and microwave....your typical hotel kitchenette. Oh, and the bed?....it was heaven! Such is NOT always the case with hotels, so I feel the need to give them a shout-out. Soft cotton sheets, a lofty down comforter, and comfortable abundant pillows...it was like sleeping on a cloud (the cat loved it too...he slept for 7 consecutive days on the bed...I had to check him for a pulse once or twice). Absolutely phenomenal. The entire staff was friendly; overall a great stay.
Now, back to the cheesy mac! This version is half of the original recipe, it can easily be doubled if serving more than two people. If you prefer to boil and drain your pasta... if your real old school mac n' cheese crazy, (I get it, no judgy) - then check out the original recipe linked HERE.
Me, being me, had to have a crusty crumb layer of some kind on my homemade mac n' cheese. Given my circumstances, I had to use an additional non-stick skillet to toast up the topping (a few minutes under the broiler would have been ideal, but again, I had no oven). So much for the ONE pot, right?
The true test: Did S think this version was just as good as our favorite oven-baked recipe?
Answer: No. It was better.
(Good answer S, good answer.)
Print THIS Recipe
One Pot Smokey Mac N Cheese (adapted from, Muir Glen)
makes 4, 1 1/4 cup servings
For The Pasta:
1/2 pound dried small shaped pasta (I used egg squares)
8 oz heavy whipping cream
1 14.5oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup (8oz) of water
4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Frank's Red Hot
1/2 tsp dried mustard
Crumb Topper (optional):
3 TBS bread crumbs
3 TBS Grated Cheese
1 TBS Olive Oil
Add the pasta, whipping cream, canned tomatoes, hot sauce, dried mustard, and water into a medium sized, heavy weight pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to a simmer , stirring often to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot, simmer for about 10-15 minutes. When the pasta is tender and most of the liquids have been absorbed, and when you scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon it leaves drag marks (as pictured above), you are ready for the cheese. Stir in the smoked cheddar cheese and the scallions. Remove the pot from the heat and cover for 10 minutes to thoroughly melt the cheese.
If a crumb topper is desired, combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese and olive oil in a small bowl, set aside. Preheat broiler to high.
Divide the mac n' cheese into serving bowl(s), top with bread crumb and cheese mixture. Broil for 1-2 mins until crumb topping is browned, watching constantly as not to burn the topper.