Although not quite historically accurate, this Civil War macaroni-and-cheese is really quite good. I think the main reason that it tastes so good is that the pasta is cooked in milk instead of water, giving it a creamier taste. Just like when you boil anything else, you need flavor in the water to make up for lost.Apparently, elbow pasta, whole milk and cheddar cheese were not very common during the Civil War. But this recipe for Civil War macaroni-and-cheese is a close representation of what soldiers at the time would eat. Straight pasta, skim milk and Parmesan cheeses were more common then. Feel free to substitute!
Also try my southwestern macaroni-and-cheese recipe.
Civil War Macaroni-and-Cheese
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried nutmeg
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Heat the milk in a large pot until it begins to steam.
- Stir in the pasta. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure that the pot doesn't foam over. The pasta should absorb almost all of the milk. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the better. Add in the cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has melted. Pour mixture into the pot with the pasta. Stir and add salt, to taste.
- Spray a 9" x 9" baking wish with non-stick spray.
- Add pasta mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with cayenne.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Nutritional values are approximate.