Talya refuses to eat boxed macaroni and cheese. She’s only two. Yet, that neon-orange color, and not exactly cheese flavor, don’t fool her. She presses the pasta to her lips, gives her head a violent shake, and pushes the plate away. Most moms might think it takes too much time to make a cheese sauce from scratch. But the reality is, it only takes four ingredients (compared to three with boxed macaroni and cheese). My version adds one additional ingredient, pureed carrots, and is just as simple to make.
Pureed carrots give this dish that nice bright orange color. Not only does it perfectly capture the color that kids know and love, but it adds great flavor, and nutrients. As funny as it might sound, the best way to a perfect carrot puree is to buy a jar of organic carrot baby food. The key to success for manufacturers is consistency. They buy carrots at the peak of freshness, and sweetness. That way, each jar tastes exactly the same. Perfectly sweet. What can be easier than opening a jar?
I promise you. This sauce tastes utterly delicious. In fact, the only problem you might have is that your kids won’t want to eat any other version of cheesy pasta, again.
I make this dish with spaghetti, because Talya prefers the long strands over elbow macaroni. But you can make it with any pasta you like. She also prefers her cheesy pasta plain, peas on the side…thank you very much! For a grown-up version, I suggest stirring in peas and topping it with a few crispy bits of prosciutto.