Updated: Feb 19, 2022
What is there not to love about a good dish of macaroni and cheese? It’s cheesy, creamy, flavorful, and just flat out good! Growing up in a west African home, my siblings and I would beg our parents to buy box mac and cheese because that was all we knew. I remember when creamy mac and cheese in a box first hit the shelves. I would literally ask mom for a box each time she went to the market. You could not tell us that was not the best thing since sliced bread. When I grew up and learned that there were fresh options to creating one of my favorite American dishes, I immediately began to study recipes, watch cooking tutorials and most importantly, recreate these recipes until I finally landed on my very own unique way of creating this household classic dish. It’s so funny because now, at every family holiday gathering, everyone always expect to see this dish on the table right next to the eru and pounded yam.
I created Neatta’s Cheese Sauce for the on-the-go mom that enjoys creating this meal for her family but does not have the time to stand over a cheese grater, or hot pot. The 5-cheese mixture is full robust flavors guaranteed to serve each one of your tastebuds.
1 box elbow or corkscrew macaroni
1 pint heavy whipping cream
Cream of celery (10.5 oz can)
Havarti cheese slices (or creamy cheddar)
Gouda cheese slices (or shredded gouda)
Italian cheese blend
Cheddar blend (or sharp cheddar)
Bring 1 large pot of hot water to a boil.
Season water with 2 tbs chicken bouillon, 4 tbs of butter, and ½ tbs smoked paprika.
Add 3 cups of dry macaroni and boil for approximately 8 minutes until al dente, stirring along the way to prevent sticking.
Allow to rest for 3 minutes, then strain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add 1/4 cup chicken stock and add 32 oz of Neatta’s Mac & Cheese Sauce on medium low heat until completely melted. Set aside
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with 2 tbs flour.
To the mixture, add 1 cup of sour cream. Mix well.
Add 1 can cream of celery. Mix well.
Add Neatta’s Mac & Cheese Sauce (should be cool, not cold). Mix well.
Incrementally pour mixture into large bowl of cooked macaroni, mixing well between each pour, until the mixture is exhausted.
Add ½ tbs each of garlic powder, onion powder, fresh cracked peppercorn melody, blackened cajun seasoning.
Add 1 cup each of Italian cheese and mixed cheddar (you can sub with Monterey jack and sharp cheddar). Mix well.
Grab your cast iron skillet and add half of the macaroni mixture to the pan, evenly spreading across the pan.
Add 2 slices each of gouda and Havarti cheese (can sub with ¼ cup each of shredded gouda and shredded Havarti or creamy cheddar).
Sprinkle shredded cheeses (half of what’s remaining)
Add the rest of your macaroni mixture.
Evenly distribute the rest of your shredded cheese.
Top with sprinkles of fresh chopped parsley, smoked paprika, fresh cracked peppercorn melody and a hint of cayenne if you like thunda fiya tongue.
Toss into a 400-degree preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. You will know the noodles are ready once the cheese from the noodles begins to permeate the shredded cheese layer.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Serve with love.