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It is WEEK 5 of my Mac Attack series! And today, mac and cheese is going to get “grown-up”! So far I’ve shared a couple basic recipes, that are good starting points for most of the recipes in this series. And a couple recipes that take mac and cheese to a totally different level. Are you ready for the next installment? Here we go!
“Fettuccine Alfredo is Mac and Cheese for grownups.”
I mean, could he be more right!? Most mac and cheeses are a bright yellow hue that can only be found “in nature” on a school bus. But there’s something so delicate and sexy about pasta that is covered with a creamy white sauce.
Despite simple ingredients that most kids love, why is fettuccine alfredo more of the grown-up version of mac and cheese? Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish of pasta with a simple sauce of butter, cream, and parmesan cheese. And it is on almost every Italian restaurant menu everywhere. (Even at the restaurants that I’m not sure actually qualify as real Italian…) Maybe it is grown-up because fettuccine is not as easy for kids to pick up as shaped pasta?
Keeping that in mind, I’m taking inspiration from a few places: fettuccine alfredo, “straw and hay”, springtime and keeping things fun with a shaped pasta!
Growing up, we had this Italian restaurant, Ecco, that my sister and I loved… so much, our parents would use it as a reward for a good report card! The best thing on the menu was their mussels in white wine cream sauce, and that is what we got EVERY. TIME. But the second best thing on the menu? A dish called “Straw and Hay”. It was a regular fettuccine and a spinach fettuccine combined together in a garlicky alfredo sauce with peas and ham.
To get the “Straw and Hay” look for this version, combine a 1/2 pound of spinach rotini and a 1/2 pound of regular. (If you feel like “punishing” someone, buy 2 pounds of tri-color rotini and have them separate the white and green from the red! HA!)
This makes a gorgeous dinner party meal as the main, with 2 veggie sides or as a side to salmon, tuna, or even chicken! Come back next week as the Mac Attack Series continues with a sneaky recipe to get picky eaters to eat their veggies! Butternut Mac is up next and it is picky-eater/kid approved! (Nut-free too!)