Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Technique: Cheesy Noodles

This is an emergency meal for me, when everyone is hungry, and we’re short on time and groceries. It’s so basic I am almost embarrassed to post it here, but maybe I can help some peace corps volunteer with no cooking background. It’s good food for kids and drunks, too! (Am I allowed to lump kids and drunks in the same category? They both like simple food that cooks fast.)


Uncooked pasta

Bouillon cubes or broth – I usually use chicken but I bet the flavor doesn’t matter

Chopped or grated cheese

Spreadable cheese like La Vache Qui Rit (Or brie if you’re getting fancy, but why get fancy with a dish based on bouillon cubes?) – optional, but it’s nice

Chopped chives or parsley, dried herbs or spices – optional. I like paprika and chives.


1. Bring water and your bouillon cubes to a boil.

2. Add the pasta.

3. When the pasta is done, use a mug to remove about half a cup of broth from the pot before you drain the noodles. Set aside.

4. Drain the noodles. Put them back in the pot, on low heat. (on an electric stove, you can put them on the hot burner you’ve turned off)

5. Add the reserved broth to the noodles. Stir it in.

6. Add the spread cheese if you’re using it. Stir.

7. Add the grated or chopped cheese. Stir.

8. Add the herbs and spices if you’re using them. Done!

Notes: You can also add butter, which I do if I am feeling decadent or short on cheese. The cheese doesn’t evenly distribute into a sauce, but it does stick to most of the noodles with the occasional appealing clump of cheese. You can also add chopped chicken or ham to this, or diced vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans, which makes it seem vaguely like a casserole. It’s a great dish to use up leftovers.

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