Baked Mac & Cheese!
Macaroni & Cheese is a big player in our home! My kids would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But when they eat it, it’s usually out of a box. So the true test would be if my kids would eat homemade Mac & Cheese. I had tried to make this in the past but I don’t think I had the right recipe. The cheese didn’t stick to the macaroni which can be a huge problem when you want to serve Mac & Cheese. This recipe was one I knew I could count on and it didn’t fail me.
The secret is in the cheese. This recipe calls for Extra Sharp Cheddar and Gruyere cheese (one of my favorites). Shred the cheese to make it easier to melt into the milk mixture.
First melt butter in a huge pot. Add flour to thicken it up. At the same time, heat up milk in a separate pot.
When the milk comes to a light simmer, add it to the butter and flour mixture.
Once the milk thickens a bit, add the cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix completely.
Add the macaroni to the cheese mixture. Make sure the macaroni isn’t all the way cooked. It will cook a little more in the oven. The best macaroni to use is the true macaroni noodle. I used a Tortiglioni noodle. It’s nice and thick and absorbed the cheese mixture perfectly.
The next step is to add it to oven save bowls. The topping is simply bread crumbs mixed with butter. Cook in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. It should come out looking like this.
Baked Mac & Cheese!
- 6 tablespoons Butter melted
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 4 cups Milk
- 2 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 4 cups Gruyere Cheese shredded
- 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 pound Tortiglioni Pasta
For the Topping
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Melt butter in pan
Add flour to thicken, cook for a minute or two
Heat up milk in separate pan until a slight simmer
Pour the milk into the butter mixture
Stir until thick
Add all the cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg
Fold into the mixture until it's completely mixed through
Cook pasta in Olive Oil and salt for about 7 minutes
Add slightly undercooked pasta into the cheese mixture
When mixed together, add mac & cheese to oven safe bowls
Add the mixture of melted butter and bread crumbs to the top
Bake for 30 minutes
Cool for 10 minutes, serve
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten. I served this dish with chicken and a salad. But it can be served with just about anything.
By the way, my kids loved it!