Today is June the 4th and it is cheese day! And the perfect way to celebrate is with a family favourite: macaroni and cheese.
Macaroni and cheese has a long history. It was first recorded in medieval cookbooks in both Italy and England as far back as the 14Th century, including Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, which has two recipes for the dish!
Nowadays, mac ‘n cheese is considered an American comfort food. It was first introduced by Thomas Jefferson in the 1790’s. He apparently came across it in both Italy and Paris and was so enamored with the dish, he served ‘a pie called macaroni’ at a state dinner in 1802.
In 1937, the Food company Kraft introduced macaroni cheese in a box and due to food rationing, it was an instant success in both the US and Canada. Some Canadians put mac and cheese ahead of poutine as their national dish.
Since 2010, macaroni and cheese has made a resurgence in both fast food eateries and gourmet restaurants. There are now hundreds of different twists on the classic dish with ingredients such as broccoli, tomato, lobster, smoked sausage… pretty much anything goes!
Here is a great recipe for you to try for dinner tonight and your kids will love you for it!
Pumpkin Mac and 3 Cheese
Serves 4 Children Prep 15 mins Cook 25 mins
640g Ultragrain pasta elbows with quinoa
525g pumpkin/butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup ricotta
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- In a saucepan boil the pasta until al dente. In a separate pan, boil the cubed pumpkin and the garlic until soft.
- In a blender, mix the ricotta, milk, yoghurt, thyme, cooked pumpkin and garlic, and blitz. Transfer this to a large mixing bowl. Add the cheddar cheese saving some for topping. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and half the Parmesan.
- Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the rest of the Cheddar and Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown!
Have a happy Cheese Day!