A few days ago on her website, The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond posted some recipes from cookbook author Pam Anderson. As I scrolled through the pictures from Pam’s Day of Deliciousness, my mouth began to water! All of the recipes came from two of Pam’s cookbooks. This recipe for Mac & Cheese is from Perfect One-Dish Dinners. As an avid cookbook collector who owns all of Pam’s cookbooks, I had bought this cookbook when it first came out. I had looked through it and loved the beautiful photography and thought as usual the recipes looked delicious, but for some reason set it aside and didn’t make anything out of it. As I was flipping through it the other evening this Mac & Cheese immediately caught my eye. I LOVE homemade Mac and Cheese and had always used recipes similar to my Nanny’s. Her recipe is old school because you make a roux and your own cheese sauce, but it is a lot of work. My family has always liked it but have never been over the moon about homemade Mac and Cheese. My third child, Caroline, even said one time she would rather have the Blue Box. WHAT?
Another reason this recipe intrigued me was it is in a cookbook called Perfect One-Dish Dinners. For someone whose kitchen always looks like a tornado went through it, that also really appealed to me. Technically, this recipe took two dishes, one to cook the pasta and one to mix the ingredients that go in the Mac and Cheese. I thought about just dumping it all in the warm pot after I drained and returned the pasta but decided to follow the directions and mix them all in a separate bowl and then add the warm pasta. The recipe also has cottage cheese in it, which my younger two think is “gross.” I had never made a Mac & Cheese recipe with cottage cheese and have always wanted to try one. If you don’t like cottage cheese either, don’t let that stop you from trying this dish – you won’t even taste it. I did have to add it on the sly as I had little ones running around!
- 1 pound medium-size pasta shells (I used whole wheat)
- 1 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 container (16 ounce) cottage cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 container (16 ounce) sour cream (I used light)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs (I used Panko)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until just done. Drain.
- Meanwhile, mix cheeses and sour cream in a large bowl. Add the hot pasta and mix well. Add salt and pepper to suit your tastes. Transfer to baking dish (I added a little more shredded cheddar on the top).
- Mix bread crumbs, parsley, and butter in a small bowl and sprinkle over shells. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.
I cooked mine for 30 minutes. If my children hadn’t kept coming in and informing my they were starving to death, I would have left in for 5 more minutes to brown the Panko a little more.
My girls loved it, even Little Miss “I like the Blue Box.” I will definitely make this again — it was so easy and delicious.