Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 10 mins
This recipe makes enough for two 2-quart or eight 12- to 16- oz. baking dishes.
- 1 lb short pasta (such as cavatappi or macaroni)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (12 oz)
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (2 oz)
- 3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, heat 4 T. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and 2 t. salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes.
- Melt remaining 2 T. butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. (Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.).
- Preheat oven to 375. Place frozendishes on a baking sheet; remove plastic. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, 60-70 minutes for large dishes, 40-50 minutes for small. Remove foil; continue baking until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.
Really yummy! I didn't use the freezing method, I just prepared and baked this right away. I was happy that this stayed moist and creamy after baking. I baked this at 375 for about 35 minutes. I also doubled the spices. I think the key is using a high-quality sharp white cheddar-no preshredded stuff. Thanx for posting!
I was just browsing through and was thrilled to see this posted. This is *the* only macaroni and cheese recipe I will ever use. It is nearly perfect. I say 'nearly' because there is just two slight changes that I have made. For our family, I do reduce the salt. Also, I prefer the flavor of onion in our macaroni and cheese, so before adding the flour in step 2, I add one finely chopped, medium onion and let that saute until translucent, THEN add the flour and continue with the recipe as written. As a previous poster mentioned, I also just tear up pieces of bread and toss them with butter for the topping. Fabulous!!