Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Easy Cheesy Good

I love easy recipes that are also tasty. This recipe is SUPER easy. Like “I just graduated from Ramen noodles” easy. The original recipe had literally only three ingredients so hey, feel free to try it that way. I, of course, could not leave well enough alone so I added a couple of other “flavor enhancers” if you will. Anyhow, it came out pretty darn good. Even better? It’s easy enough that I can make my daughter Skywalker make it! Suddenly the recipe has been transformed to super, duper easy.
Original Ingredients:

Spiral Noodles, Block of Cheddar, Can of Stewed Tomatoes

Real quick I have to go on a quick shredded cheese tangent. Thanks to Ree the Pioneer Woman I came to realize there are some things just worth the effort. Did you know that pre-shredded cheese is coated with stuff (no, I have no idea what this stuff is) that affects not only the taste but consistency of cheese. I love cheese. I just can’t buy pre-shredded cheese knowing that with a little extra effort, I could have a much better end result. PLUS it’s cheaper to buy the block o’ cheese! Veering off my cheese tangent real quick to say that supposedly it is key to use stewed tomatoes. Now ya can’t say you didn’t know.
My extras:

One clove of garlic and 1/4 of an onion, both finely chopped.

Another tangent!! So I’m lazy. I can admit it and honestly that’s one of those negative traits that I am not terribly concerned about. I kinda like being lazy! Anyhow, my lazy ways allowed me to start relying on jarred minced garlic. NO! Bad, bad, bad. I mean it’s not baaaad, but listen, when you compare jarred minced garlic to freshly minced garlic, you just can’t compare!! The investment is so worth the rewards. I threw my jar of minced garlic AWAY!! Never again! I am now and forever more a garlic mincing fool. Join me. 

Okay so tangent's over. I took one clove of garlic and about 1/4 of one white onion and finely chopped them. While I was grating the cheddar and chopping the onions and garlic, the water was bowling for the pasta. Always make sure to season your pasta water!! Someone many years ago taught me that. Rachael? I dunno. Anyhow, make it taste like salt water. This is the only time to really season the pasta. Or at least that’s what they told me. Once the water is boiling, I decide to add the garlic and onion along with the pasta (only using half of that box). I boiled for about 9 minutes (or however long the box tells you to boil the noodles).
Once the noodles are cooked, I drain them reserving some of the pasta water. I add the shredded cheese and stewed tomatoes to the pot, throw the noodles back in and add maybe 1/2 cup of the pasta water and mix it all up. The recipe calls for baking it but I purposely cooked the pasta a bit longer so I could just heat through on the stove top instead of baking it. I also mash some of the tomato pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.

Tastes like a grilled cheese sandwich with a fat, slice of tomato.

This dish is one ooey, gooey, cheesy mess and it is SO GOOD!

1/4 white onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
8 oz cheddar cheese
8 oz of macaroni (I used spiral)
1 15oz can of Stewed tomatoes

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