This is not macaroni and cheese. Don't sell it to whoever you are serving it as mac and cheese. They'll form a mutiny. It is not macaroni and cheese.
What it is is a light spring (or anytime) pasta dish full of flavor that makes you feel good about yourself (unlike mac and cheese). Well, it makes you feel good about yourself if you ignore the little bit of bacon and heavy cream you added to the pot.
As you may be able to tell, I learned from my mistakes. M didn't eat it for supper because it wasn't mac and cheese. The boys both loved it. I'll definitely make it again and not sell it as mac and cheese and I suspect she'll eat it just fine.
Macaroni, Peas, and Cheese
from in The Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
8 oz elbows or other cute small pasta
1 T butter*
1 t olive oil*
2 oz bacon (2 strips store bought, 1 strip farmer's market), diced (optional)
1 1/2 c frozen peas
3 T heavy cream
2 T fresh basil or mint, chopped
2 t lemon juice
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
*If not using bacon, you need, otherwise the bacon creates enough grease.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. If you are not using bacon, melt the butter and oil together in a large skillet. If you are using bacon, cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Stir in the peas and cook for a minute to defrost. Add the heavy cream and herbs. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the pasta and drizzle with lemon juice. Stir in the cheese until the past is completely coated and the mixture is creamy. Serve.