KidsPost has adapted Thomas Jefferson’s macaroni recipe into a mac-and-cheese dish kids can make. (Photos by Kris Coronado)

Celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s April 13 birthday by making this take on his macaroni recipe tweaked for today’s young chefs.

This isn’t everyday mac and cheese: The noodles aren’t hollow, and the Founding Father’s handwritten recipe doesn’t call for cheese. Still, we added Parmesan, a cheese he enjoyed.

HANDS-ON TIME: 45 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

MAKES: Nearly 1 pound of pasta

KITCHEN GEAR: Measuring spoons, measuring cup, large and small mixing bowls, whisk, wooden spoon, slotted spoon, table knife, large cutting board, rolling pin, medium saucepan, colander, three bowls, gallon storage bag, dish towel, three forks


●1/8 teaspoon salt

●2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for counter and pin

●2 large eggs

●¼ cup whole milk, or more as necessary

●1½ teaspoons unsalted butter

●3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

●salt and pepper


STEP 1: Mix ⅛ teaspoon salt with 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl, add ¼ cup milk. and beat with a whisk until blended. Pour into flour bowl.

STEP 2: Stir until a dough begins to form, then squeeze between your hands into a lump. (Too dry? Add a little milk. Wet? Add a little flour.)

STEP 3: Cover the cutting board with a little bit of flour. Place the dough on the board, folding and mashing with your hands until it can be shaped into a smooth ball.

STEP 4: Coat the rolling pin and board with flour as needed so dough won’t stick throughout this step. You may also need an adult’s help. Roll the pin over the ball (in all directions) until the dough becomes a 10-inch circle that’s a quarter-inch thick.

STEP 5: Cut the dough in half widthwise, then slice each half vertically into ½-inch-wide strips.

STEP 6: Sprinkle water on a dish towel and lay the towel over the strips so they don’t dry out. Uncover a few at a time and gently stretch each between your fingertips, making them twice as long.

STEP 7: Place five (or fewer) stretched noodles next to one another (it’s okay if they’re uneven), and cut them vertically into ½-inch pieces. (Gently pull apart if needed.) Put them in a gallon storage bag. Repeat until all are cut.

STEP 8: Fill a medium saucepan ¾ full with water and bring to a boil over ­high heat. Add the macaroni and stir with a slotted spoon. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

STEP 9: Place the colander in the sink and drain the noodles. Divide them into three bowls. Mix ½ teaspoon butter and a tablespoon of Parmesan into each bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Tested by Christina Barron; email questions to