Comfort food, the Dutch way.


Growing up I remember Macaroni and Cheese. I don’t know who used to make it the way we liked it. Maybe Mom but my dad cooked a lot too.
When we moved to the US we had many friends who were Italian and for a long time we ate the “proper” pasta with incredible sauces. Then Resident Teen came along and at about 3 she wanted macaroni and cheese “just like at my friends house”. Mom of friend was called and it was macaroni and cheese out of a box. Very pregnant and tired I decided that instead of making it from scratch I’d buy a box and see where it would take us. Himself was on a trip probably because what I cooked from that box would not have been up to his taste. The 3 year old however was quite happy.
I used boxed macaroni and cheese for a bit, switching away from the yellow “cheese” kind to organic white cheese. About 5 or 6 years ago I decided to try and recreate the macaroni and cheese of my childhood. This dish is now a staple and I’ve tweaked it a bit. Added some things my mom or dad probably did not use.

Baked macaroni and cheese with ham and peas.

1 inch slice of cooked ham
1 cup peas
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups mozzarella cheese
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tbs butter
3/4 box elbow pasta. We use Dreamfields.

cut ham in 1 inch cubes
mix all the ingredients except the butter together.
preheat the oven to 325 F.
cook the pasta in a big pot with a little salt added until almost cooked.
run cold water over pasta to stop the cooking process
Use cooking spray to coat an oven proof pan
mix pasta into cheese and ham mixture
cook for 20 minutes or until cheese sets.
cut pats of butter into small squares and arrange them on the top of the pasta
use the broiler to give the pasta a bit of a crunch (about 3 minutes on high)
Serve with a green salad.
Enjoy!

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