When I was in middle school and high school, many a night was spent with my best friend, Amy.
Now, Amy’s family didn’t do a lot of cooking, so when we were at her house, I could usually count on one of two things for dinner: pizza, or Velveeta Shells and Cheese. (To be fair, when we were at my house, my mom almost always cooked dinner, so things balanced out in the end.)
I cannot tell a lie: I really enjoyed those dinners of Velveeta Shells and Cheese. I’ve always loved mac and cheese, and, primarily due to a lactose-intolerant father, didn’t get it much at my own house. But, in retrospect, I think what I really loved about those meals was the experience: eating off of paper plates in the living room, flipping through crazy reality TV shows while Amy’s dog, Penny, looked on, praying for us to drop a noodle (or two).
But let’s face it: who really knows what is in Velveeta Shells and Cheese? I mean, a block of Velveeta can sit in your fridge for a year without ever going bad. If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is. But I was also skeptical: could I really recreate this childhood favorite without use of sketchy ingredients, make it just as quick and easy, and still end up with a dish that lived up to my memories?
As it turns out, I absolutely could. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this version tastes just like this original. And, to make things even better, you only need 4 ingredients, as much time as it takes to cook your pasta, and a hearty appetite.
Now that’s a quick and easy dish that I can get behind.