I love a good cheesy pasta as much as the next mid-western girl, but I can't bear the thought of feeding my children such processed garbage (no offense if you do) and the organic brands cost as much as an entire box of pasta. So, I make my own. It is nearly as quick and easy as the boxed brands and so much tastier. Plus, you have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what is going into your children's food.
So here is the recipe (disclaimer: I am an intuitive cook. I rarely measure, but I'll put basic measurements here that are meant to be used as guidelines):
Pasta of your choice, set to boil while you prepare the sauce.
Enough to serve 4
Sauce (this is a basic bechemel sauce with cheese, so if you know how to do that you're set):
2 tbsp Butter
1 to 2 tbsp (whole wheat for health, but it really doesn't matter) flour
1/2 to 1 Cup (organic) milk
1/2 to 1 Cup shredded cheese (we already talked about this!)
Optional ingredients: minced garlic, cauliflower puree, nutmeg or your favorite herb.
Step 1: Grate cheese (do not use processed - make sure it is natural), and set aside.
Step 2: Melt butter in small to medium sauce pan on low heat
Step 3: Once the butter is melted, remove from heat, slowly add flour while stirring to keep it smooth
Step 4: As the flour and butter become a paste, slowly add the milk (you may heat this beforehand to avoid lumps)
Step 5: Continue to stir and add milk until you have enough to cover your pasta. Now you can add your optional items (note: if you are adding cauliflower puree to sneak in some veggies, reduce the amount of milk used).
If your sauce has become lumpy, use a whisk until it's smooth again.
Step 6: Add cheese and stir until nicely melted and the sauce is once again smooth