The Best Macaroni and Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook about 10 minutes. Rinse under cold running water in a colander. Drain well.
- Melt the butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly (wooden spoon works best) being careful not to let the flour brown. Using a whisk, add the milk slowly and cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, approximately 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the salt, cayenne, pepper and 2 cups of the cheese. Stir well. Add the noodles and stir well.
- Spray a 2 qt baking dish with non-stick baking spray, and pour the mixture into the dish.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.