Classic Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese
Recipe type: Pasta
This recipe started out from Ina Garten but I've changed it around a bit to meet my needs (and budget). It's really good!
  • salt (for pasta water)
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni or penne
  • 1 quart milk
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz. extra sharp Cheddar, grated (3 cups)
  • 8 oz. Italian Blend Cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bring a large pot of the salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well. (Spray with cold water to stop the cooking process if you haven't read ahead to step 3 yet)
  3. Heat the milk in a small saucepan, being carefult not to boil it.
  4. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour.
  5. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.
  6. Off the heat, add the cheeses, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  7. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well.
  8. Pour into a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  9. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top.
  10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

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