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ABC Mac & Cheese

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Back to School Mac and Cheese

ABC Mac & Cheese

I hope your back-to-school is going smoothly.  We have been getting the first heavy rain of the season as we now transition into fall, cooler temps and comfort foods.  This ABC pasta dish combines comfort with back-to-school.  An added bonus: cutting shapes and letters out of cooked lasagna noodles also makes for a fairly mess-free rainy day project for kids of all ages.  This project {using cookie cutters to cut shapes and letters out of cooked lasagna noodles} is one my older son has enjoyed several times before and my two-year-old had fun with it this time, too.  You might remember our heart lasagna from Valentine’s Day last year.  We have also used our cut-out letters in soups and pasta.

ABC Pasta ABC Pasta

Alphabet Pasta

This time we used the same principle as the heart lasagna and cut the letters out of the top lasagna noodles but made mac & cheese with elbow macaroni (which have more dimension compared with the flat lasagna cut-outs) for the pasta casserole underneath.  You can use the pasta sauce, lasagna or mac & cheese of your choice.  Check out our alphabet soup for more ABC fun.

ABC Mac & Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4+
 
As we transition into fall, this ABC pasta doubles as a comfort food and a fairly mess-free rainy-day project for kids of all ages.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
  • Cheddar cheese or other cheeses of your choice, to taste
  • Whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • Alphabet cookie cutters
Béchamel Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
Instructions
Bechamel Sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Stir in the flour and then gradually add the milk, whisking it constantly until the mixture thickens. It is better to cook it slowly so that it does not burn or boil. Sometimes I make a mornay sauce, stirring grated cheese into the béchamel sauce to help thicken it.
  3. Once thickened, remove the sauce from the heat.
Macaroni and Cheese
  1. Cut out shapes and/or letters in the cooked lasagna noodles.
  2. Place half of the cooked macaroni noodles in a casserole dish.
  3. Cover the noodles with slices of cheese (or grated cheese) and salt & pepper.
  4. Add the rest of the noodles.
  5. Pour the béchamel or mornay sauce over the noodles.
  6. Place slices of cheese (or grated cheese) on top.
  7. I usually stir everything together so that the cheese is evenly mixed throughout the noodles.
  8. Lay lasagna noodles with cut out letters or shapes on top of the pasta, and lightly sprinkle the top with cheese, ensuring that the cut-out shapes are still visible.
  9. Cover the mac and cheese with foil and put the casserole dish on a pan in case the cheese bubbles over while baking.
  10. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until bubbly and lightly browned.

ABC Avocado Pesto Pasta

It even works to mix your cut-out noodles in with another pasta, as we did in this creamy avocado pesto pasta.

 

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