‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond’s Secret to Perfect Cheese Pasta

The Pioneer Woman star recently made 5 cheese pasta. Ree Drummond showed home cooks how to whip up a delicious, cheesy treat. She shared a secret for making perfect cheese pasta.

Easy mac and cheese

Ree Drummond smiles and wears a floral blouse on the Today show.
TODAY — Pictured: (l-r) Ree Drummond on Tuesday October 22, 2019 — (Photo by: Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Drummond says her 5-cheese macaroni and cheese recipe is easy to make. She points out that it’s a simple dish with simple ingredients. “This isn’t a complicated mac and cheese recipe, which I love,” says Drummond during The Pioneer Woman show. “You don’t have to make a white sauce and go through the roux stage. It’s just bacon, grease, onion, wine, cream, [and cheese].”

Ree Drummond’s tip for perfect cheese pasta

If you want to make a cheese pasta that’s not only tasty but creamy, Drummond has a tip for you. She says a little extra water goes a long way. Her secret to perfect cheese pasta is to keep a bit of water in the pasta and not drain it until it’s bone dry.

Drummond advises home cooks to leave some water in the pasta because it helps thin out the sauce. She says it provides additional liquid to work with. After she pours the pasta on top of the white sauce, she stirs until the mixture becomes creamy.

Drummond says you want to get the pasta to form a “saucy and soupy” consistency. She says it will continue to cook once it’s in the oven, so don’t worry it’s a little watery. Once the pasta goes into the oven, the noodles will absorb some of the sauce.

Ree Drummond gets excited about making pasta

Drummond says one thing she likes about making 5 cheese pasta is that you have to make sure everything is timed correctly so the pasta doesn’t overcook while the sauce is cooking. She loves the “charge” she gets when preparing pasta.

“I love the timing of things like this because there’s always the balance between making the pasta, getting it cooked to the stage you want by the time the sauce is ready,” says Drummond. “You don’t want the pasta to get overcooked, so there’s kind of a little charge in the air. It’s really exciting.”

Ree Drummond’s no-bake macaroni and four cheeses recipe

Another mac and cheese recipe Drummond likes to make is her no-bake macaroni and four cheeses recipe. If you don’t have a lot of time for meal prep, this is a quick way to get dinner on the table. For this recipe, you’ll need a box of elbows, a cup of cream, a few tablespoons of butter, one garlic glove, black pepper, minced parsley, and four cheeses. Drummond uses goat, fontina, parmesan, and Romano cheese.

If there’s still some water on the macaroni after you drain it, don’t be concerned. Just like with the 5-cheese recipe, Drummond says the water helps with the consistency of the cheese sauce. “I love this sauce,” says Drummond during The Pioneer Woman show. “A lot of times, when I make mac and cheese I start with the white sauce and then add the cheese. This is so much easier, it’s basically just cream and cheese, macaroni, and stir it all together,” adds Drummond. The full recipe and directions are in the video above.

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