I’m on a self sanctioned break for a month. As it so tends to happen, my sleep cycle gets reversed during days I don’t need to wake up in the morning and be anywhere or do something. This post is a result of one such night where the craving for something hot and satisfying wouldn’t go away. Satisfying to me is pasta in some sort of cheese sauce, the ultimate comfort food. I’m also extremely lazy. I wanted something good with minimal effort. A recipe I had seen on pinterest long ago came to mind. Mac and cheese in a mug. Now while I LOVE recipes that end with ‘in a mug’, I wanted something more. So here is my twist on Mac and cheese in a mug: Three cheese pasta.
Ingredients (serves 2 or 1 if the person in question happens to be a cheese lover)
Pasta (any shape) – A couple of fistfuls
Corn- A handful
Milk- 3/4 cup
Sharp cheddar- 1 cup
Gouda- 1/2 cup
Parmesan- 1/2 cup
Garlic- 4 cloves
Black pepper (freshly crushed if possible)
THREE CHEESE PASTA: DIRECTIONS
This recipe is just a base. You can use any seasoning you want, mustard, oregano, chilli flakes, mixed herbs, parsley, coriander, the possibilities are endless. Also, I have used corn as I felt guilty for not adding any vegetables and it was the only hassle free vegetable I had. Add chicken, bacon, etc for a non vegetarian option OR add more veggies.
I have used three different cheeses in this recipe, courtesy a recent trip to the grocery store. Cheese does not last long in my house. Feel free to substitute with any other cheese or even reduce it to one or two.
Put the pasta in a microwave safe bowl and cover it with a few centimeters of water. Microwave it on high for about 12-15 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time throw in the corn. Remember to stir every few minutes.
Once cooked it should look like this. The pictures are horrible, shot on a phone, at night and don’t even document the whole process. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts right?
While the pasta is cooking, prep the other ingredients, namely the cheese. The wonderful glorious cheese. Grate it into a bowl. Resist the urge to scarf it all down. Meet my friend, the cheese grater. Lets call her Betsy.
Chop the garlic finely or if you’re like me smash it using the back of a knife. Mix in the milk, garlic, salt and pepper into the cheese. Give it a good stir. The pasta should be cooked till then. The keyword here is ‘al dente’ or for the middle of the night ‘not raw’. Add the cheese/ milk mixture to the pasta. Add more pepper. Coz there is no such thing as too much pepper!
Pop it back to the microwave for another five to ten minutes, stirring every few minutes. Meanwhile clean the kitchen counter so your mother will not forbid you from cooking in her kitchen again. I happened to have a jar of olives so I chopped a few and threw them in. Grate the remaining cheese over it if you’re feeling fancy and if there is any you haven’t already eaten.
Here it is. Three cheese pasta in a microwave. It is as good as the real deal if not better and is nothing short of gourmet at two in the night. This tastes even better if its raining outside. It smelt divine and I may or may not have devoured the whole bowl curled up in bed watching Happy Endings!