Welcome to Cooking with Friends, a publication dedicated to food, friendship, and personal connection.
The main format of this publication will be a Zine (print & digital), but I will be reformatting the content to share here in article form as well.
So let’s get to it. I present you with Issue #2: Mac & Cheese featuring my good friend, Jon Matros.
Meet Jon 👋
Jon Matros | New York | He / Him
Meet Jon — he’s a social media manager living in New York. If there’s one thing to know about Jon, or, “Matros” as his friends call him — it’s that when he makes his family’s mac and cheese recipe, there will be no single noodle left behind. This mac and cheese has created, mended, and enriched entire friendships. This is the kind of meal that everyone eats out of the pot from the kitchen stove late at night in between belly laughs and gasps for air. This recipe is pure comfort. It’s warm, gooey, rich, cheese-y, perfectly browned, and crunchy on top. You really can’t ask for much more. Jon learned this recipe from his mom; it’s a recipe that’s been passed down in the family for multiple generations. It was the star of every family gathering. And now, Jon shares the mac and cheese recipe with his friends and family where it remains the star of the show.
Let’s get cooking 👩🍳
1 pound penne (no ridges)
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
6 tablespoons flour
1 quart whole milk
1 stick salted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
or 2 baking dishes
Preheat oven to 350°
Cook penne pasta as directed on box. Drain and rinse noodles with cold water to remove all starch. This prevents the noodles from sticking together.
Set rinsed noodles aside if using a dutch oven. If baking in a pyrex or other baking dish (you may need 2), grease the pan and pour noodles into the dish. Set aside.
Prepare the cream sauce.
In a dutch oven or large sauce pan, melt butter (1/4 lb). Once melted, add salt (1/2 tsp), pepper (1/8 tsp), & flour (6 tbs.) Stir until smooth.
Add in milk (1 qt) and keep stirring until sauce thickens. Add in grated cheese gradually until cheese melts into cream sauce.
If prepared in a dutch oven or oven safe dish, add the macaroni into the cream sauce and mix well. If using a pyrex or other baking dish, cover the pasta in the prepared dish with the cream sauce.
Bake at 350° for 30–35 minutes or until cheese bubbles.
Broil for 5 minutes until a light brown crust appears on top.
Go low and slow on the sauce 🔥
A good sharp cheddar makes a big difference 🧀
Thank you for reading issue #2 of Cooking with Friends. May your mac be warm and cheese-y. You can purchase a print or digital copy ( for $1! ) of Cooking with Friends here. Your support is greatly appreciated 🙂