Macaroni and Cheese for Kids/Adults
Chef Bill Bradley of Restaurant Bricco, Boston, MA
Adapted by

Both of my kids, Cassidy and Aidan, love to eat mac and cheese, so instead of using that boxed stuff we make our own. We keep the kids' version pretty basic, then I add sautéed spinach and fontina Val d'Aosta to ours, bake it until brown, and drizzle it with white truffle oil. We all sit down together to have virtually the same dish, only the kids have theirs minus the stinky cheese and the green stuff. The kids drink cranberry juice from their wine glasses and we have Barbera d'Asti in ours.

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 lb. dry pasta, preferably cavatelli
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 5 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 7 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 cups fontina cheese
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons truffle oil

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Preheat oven to 400° and adjust rack to middle of oven. Fill a large saucepan with 4 quarts of water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until al dente.

Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, add flour, and mix well. Stir in milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture boils. Allow to boil briefly. Stir in the cream and cheese, and cook until the cheese is melted (for the kids' version I use cheddar or American cheese and set theirs aside). Melt half a tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan, then add the spinach and allow it to wilt. Set aside to cool. Combine the sauce, spinach, and pasta and mix well, then place in a buttered oven-proof ceramic dish, top with parmesan cheese, and bake 35 to 40 minutes uncovered. To serve, place pasta on a plate and drizzle with truffle oil.


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