Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
From the NYT's food columnist.
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering dish
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated monterey jack cheese
- 3 1⁄2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
- 1 cup canned italian tomatoes with juice, drained (reserve the juice)
- 3⁄4 cup coarse breadcrumbs
- ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350, and butter a casserole dish.
- In a saucepan, heat the two tablespoons butter until foamy. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until it turns golden, then slowly pour in the milk, continuing to whisk.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let it thicken.
- Stir in the cheese and remove from the heat (it should be a loose sauce). Fold in the macaroni, then add tomatoes by squeezing them between your fingers. The mixture should be loose like a thin batter; if it's gluey or thick, add a little milk or drained tomato juice.
- Pour into the casserole dish and spread breadcrumbs over the surface. Top with 1/4 cup cheese and ground pepper. Bake until browned on the top and bubbling, about 25 minutes.