5 Ingredients or Fewer

easiest stovetop macaroni and cheese

October  8, 2019
Author Notes

This recipe is so easy and delicious - it basically replaces the need to buy boxed macaroni and cheese. The pasta shape (small shells) is nostalgic in all the right ways. The simple combination of pasta water, a little butter, and your favorite semi-firm cheese (we used goat gouda) will yield a delicious stovetop mac and cheese. —Josh Cohen

  • Prep time 1 minute
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 1-2 people
  • 8 ounces pasta (we used small shells, but you can use any shape)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces grated semi-soft cheese (we used goat gouda but you can use anything that melts easily)
In This Recipe
  1. Set a large pot of water over high heat. When the water is boiling, add salt so that the water tastes like a nicely seasoned soup. Cook the pasta, undercooking it by 1-2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
  2. Strain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Add the butter and the pasta cooking water. Cook on high heat, stirring regularly, until the pasta cooking water is simmering. When the pasta cooking water has reduced by about half, remove the pot from the heat and add the cheese. Stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese has fully melted and incorporated with the pasta water and butter to create a sauce. Taste the pasta. Season with salt as necessary. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Josh Cohen

Recipe by: Josh Cohen

Born and raised in Brooklyn, I'm perpetually inspired by the diversity of foods that exist in this city. I love shopping at the farmer's market, making ingredients taste like the best versions of themselves, and rolling fresh pasta.