Is Macaroni and Cheese Pasta?

Most of you at some time or other have definitely wondered if it is safe to refer to mac n cheese as pasta.

Or, should you call it mac n cheese only?

Macaroni and Cheese popularly called Mac n Cheese is infact a pasta dish. However, the dish has gained so much popularity especially in North America and Canada that it is referred to as Mac n Cheese leaving behind the reference of a pasta dish.

Macaroni and cheese is indeed macaroni pasta in cheese sauce. However, the dish itself has gained so much popularity that it is now a standalone dish in itself.

In this article, we shall try and understand macaroni as a pasta and mac n cheese as a dish and how much they really differ from each other.

Are macaroni and cheese considered pasta?

Macaroni and cheese, or mac n cheese, the dish are considered a pasta dish. However, the dish has become so popular in itself that it is just referred to by its name. So, it is easy to get confused and know if it is a pasta dish or not.

The pasta that is used in the dish is a type of macaroni pasta cooked in a cheese sauce. It is a dry type of pasta with hollow pipe-like shapes hence the name macaroni in Italian. There are various shapes of macaroni pasta with different textures and each having a specific name.

The most common shape of pasta used in mac n cheese is elbow macaroni.

Macaroni and cheese got prominence in North American cooking where the hollow-shaped pasta is cooked in boiling water and then mixed with cheese sauce. Traditional recipes of mac n cheese call for topping the dish with breadcrumbs to add a layer of flavor, with it crusty crispy crumb.

Is Mac a type of pasta?

Mac is a short form of Macaroni and generally refers to a kind of pasta that is hollow. There are various shapes of macaroni that are hollow. Some kinds of macaroni pasta have a smooth surface and some have ridges on the surface of the pasta such as penne or rigatoni.

However, macaroni and cheese dish mainly uses elbow-shaped pasta called elbow macaroni which is smooth on the surface and shaped like hollow curved pipes. It is perfect to hold the cheese sauce bringing out the perfect bite with cheese sauce and pasta. Thus, it is preferred over other shapes.

A few other types of elbow macaroni are chiferi, lumachi, lumaconi, pipe, pipette, etc.

Is macaroni the same as mac n cheese?

Macaroni is not same as Macaroni and Cheese, popularly called Mac n cheese. The term macaroni itself refers to a type of pasta which is hollow and does not always mean mac n cheese. Mac n cheese is a specific type of dish popular in North American cuisine made with pasta and cheese sauce.

Macaroni pasta can be cooked in a salad or added to various types of Italian sauces. Such as ragu sauce, marinara sauce, pesto etc. Thus, macaroni is a pasta that can be made with different variations adding it to different sauces.

Mac n cheese is a particular dish in itself.

What is the difference between pasta and mac and cheese?

PastaMac n Cheese
It refers to all kinds of pasta made with flour and water.It refers to a specific dish made with macaroni pasta and cheese sauce.
There are various shapes of pasta.Mostly only elbow-shaped macaroni pasta is used in mac n cheese. However, other shapes of macaroni can be used.
It can be of two kinds dry pasta and fresh pasta.Mostly dry pasta is used in mac n cheese recipe.

Is macaroni and cheese American?

The origins of mac n cheese may be Italian since cheese sauce and macaroni are rooted in Italian cuisine.  The “Liber de Coquina,” or “Book of Cooking,” an Italian cookbook from the 13th century, includes a recipe called de lasanis that foodie historians believe is the first macaroni and cheese recipe. From hereon it became popular all over Europe.

Some even credit Thomas Jefferson to bring the dish to America from one of his official visits to Europe. However, it might no be so, since the dish was popular even before he brought it to America. Although reserved only for the upper class.

 A detailed recipe for macaroni and cheese appeared in Elizabeth Raffald’s 1769 cookbook, The Experienced English Housekeeper, and various recipes were published in early American cookbooks.

Kraft is credited with popularizing Kraft Mac n Cheese Dinner during The Great Depression. It was so popular as a one pot meal that sound 8 million boxes were sold that year! Their popularity continues even today.

Mac n cheese itself as a dish has travelled from Europe to the Great Britain and North America. It is here in North American cuisine and later Canada that it gained repute and has come to loved so much.

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