9 Speedy, Simple Weeknight Pastas

Photo by: James Ransom
Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese-
I've always thought macaroni and cheese's 20% crunch to 80% soft ratio was all wrong. The ratio should be more like 50:50. The soft part, ... more 
Photo by: James Ransom
Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese-
I've always thought macaroni and cheese's 20% crunch to 80% soft ratio was all wrong. The ratio should be more like 50:50. The soft part, delicious though it may be, wears you out. You need lots of crisp bits to stay interested in the dish. In an effort to realign macaroni and cheese, I par-cooked the pasta, folded it together with a few cheeses, spread it on a baking sheet, and finished it in a 475-degree oven. The result was total success -- the muffin top of mac 'n cheese! Major world issue solved, at last. - Amanda

Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese by Amanda

Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound pasta spirals (or other small shape)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Salt
2/3 cups whole milk


1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Use one tablespoon butter to thickly grease a 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Combine the grated cheeses and set aside 2 heaping cups for topping.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, cheeses, cayenne and salt to taste. Spread the mixture in the baking sheet and e less 
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Tue, Nov 8, 2011 4:59 PM EST
Nothing makes for a faster and more satisfying weeknight supper than a warm bowl of pasta, simply sauced. Here are 7 simple, delicious any-day pastas, plus a famously easy sauce, and an ingenious technique with tomatoes that requires no cooking at all.



See more pasta, rice, and grain recipes from Food52.



Plus: watch Amanda & Merrill make pesto, the ultimate weeknight pasta sauce.