Apple-Walnut-Clove Mac and Cheese

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Many years ago—more than 30!—I had a boyfriend. Who was a vegetarian. We ended as friends. Years later, I asked him what he learned from me, and he said something like, “how to see the sacred in everyday life.” What I learned from him: how to make pesto and how to make Apple-Walnut-Clove Mac and Cheese.

Now, my kids won’t eat this dish; they think it’s weird. But on an autumn evening when I don’t have to worry about what anyone else wants to eat, it’s a super-quick, easy, and delicious dinner that kind of tastes like Christmas, minus all the work.

Apple-Walnut-Clove Mac and Cheese


  • 1 bag whole wheat organic pasta
  • 1 or 2 chunks cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium apples
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves (or more, if you can take it)
  • Romano cheese for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta according to its packaging.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, grate the cheese, chop the apples, and toast the nuts.
  3. When the pasta is done, drain it and mix it with the milk, butter, and cheese—until it’s all goey.
  4. Add the chopped, raw apples, toasted nuts, and ground cloves. Toss into a serving bowl.
  5. Garnish with Romano cheese, and eat!

I still see the sacred in everyday life. And every time I eat, I am grateful to everyone who was a part of making the meal—the farmers, the food stores, the cooks, the influencers, the recipe makers, and the ghosts of the original recipe makers. And even old boyfriends.


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4 Responses to Apple-Walnut-Clove Mac and Cheese

  1. Sallie Roller September 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    This seems like a cool recipe. Just wondering, what was the weight of the chunk of cheese you used? Was it like an 8 oz block? I would love to know.

    Thank you.

  2. maria (farm country kitchen) April 30, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    12 oz. of cheese for a pound of pasta! Enjoy Sallie!

  3. Natalie September 9, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    This looks yummy, Maria! Can’t wait to try!

  4. Debbie R. September 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

    This looks incredible! By any chance do you have any nutritional information on this recipe as well?

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