Macaroni is most famously used in cheesy, rich and tasty macaroni cheese, a classic comfort food or side dish. Thanks to its hollow tube, the cheesy sauce is able to get trapped within giving a delicious mouthful every forkful.
Elbow macaroni, commonly known as “elbows,” is a small, curved, and tubular pasta shape that resembles the shape of an elbow, which gives it its name. It is a classic and widely recognized pasta shape that has been a staple in various comfort food dishes for generations.
Texture & Cooking
Elbow macaroni is relatively small, typically around 2 to 3 centimetres in length. It features a smooth texture and a slight curve, making it ideal for holding sauces and ingredients.
Elbow macaroni is incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, from classic macaroni and cheese to pasta salads and casseroles. Its small size and shape make it easy to cook, and it works well with a variety of flavours:
- Classic macaroni and cheese: Elbow macaroni is perhaps most famous for its role in the classic macaroni and cheese dish. When cooked until al dente and combined with a creamy cheese sauce, elbow macaroni creates a comforting and satisfying meal loved by both children and adults.
- Pasta salads: Elbow macaroni is a popular choice for pasta salads due to its ability to hold dressings and ingredients well. It works wonderfully in cold salads with fresh vegetables, herbs, and dressings, making it a staple for picnics and summer gatherings.
- Casseroles and Baked Dishes: Elbow macaroni can be used in various baked dishes and casseroles, including goulash, baked ziti, and pasta bakes. Its shape ensures an even distribution of sauces and flavours throughout the dish.
- Soups and Stews: Elbow macaroni is sometimes used in soups and stews, providing a pleasant and familiar texture to the overall dish. It works particularly well in tomato-based or broth-based soups.
- Children’s Favorites: Due to its small size and mild flavour, elbow macaroni is a hit with kids. It’s often used in kid-friendly pasta dishes like pasta with butter and cheese or pasta with simple tomato sauce.