- Difficulty 3
- Prep Time 10 min
- Cook Time 5 to 8 min
- Serves 4
Mac and cheese is on just about everyone’s comfort-food list. It’s so good when it’s cooked from scratch, but it can be time-consuming. To the rescue: This pressure-cooker version, which is ready in just 20 minutes max. With just eight simple ingredients, including malty red ale, it’ll be the star of your weeknight dinner rotation.
- 3-1/2 cups (875 mL) water
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) red ale
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 450 g package macaroni (with cooking time of 5 minutes; see tips) or cavatappi pasta
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) salted butter
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) shredded old cheddar cheese (about 250 g), divided
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) 10% cream (approx), divided
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) pepper
- 1. In a pressure cooker, combine water, red ale, salt and pasta. Stir until pasta is submerged as much as possible.
- 2. If using macaroni: Cover with lid, lock in cooking position and bring up to high pressure according to manufacturer’s directions. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Press quick-release valve to release pressure immediately (don’t let pressure release naturally or macaroni will be overcooked). Remove lid and taste macaroni; if you prefer slightly softer noodles, cover, lock lid and bring up to high pressure again, with cooking time set to 0 minutes. Turn off immediately and carefully press quick-release valve to release pressure immediately.
- 3. If using cavatappi: Cover with lid, lock in cooking position and bring up to high pressure according to manufacturer’s directions. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Press quick-release valve to release pressure immediately (don’t let pressure release naturally or cavatappi will be overcooked).
- 4. Remove lid and stir butter into pasta until melted. Stir in one-third of the cheese, and then 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the cream. Repeat with another one-third of the cheese and remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) cream. Stir in remaining cheese, adding up to 1-1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) more cream if necessary to make smooth sauce.
- 5. Season with pepper and serve immediately.
- Different brands of macaroni have different cooking times — anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. To ensure perfectly al dente pasta for this recipe, choose macaroni with a suggested cooking time of 5 minutes on the box.
- Eat this dish up right away to enjoy the creamiest texture. Or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, if you prefer. To reheat, transfer to a saucepan and warm over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash or two of milk or cream to loosen the sauce up.
- Add a little green-veggie goodness by stirring in seasoned steamed broccoli or peas just before serving.