Baked, Crunchy-Topping, Mac N Cheese

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READY IN: 1hr 20mins
SERVES: 6
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Grease a 3-quart shallow baking dish.
  • Bring a pot of salted water (Who wants bland pasta?) to boil for the macaroni.
  • The yummy topping: Melt 2 T unsalted butter
  • In a bowl stir melted butter together with crushed Ritz and 1 cup cheddar until well combined. This can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
  • The yummy sauce: In a 5-quart heavy saucepan melt 3 T butter over med low heat.
  • Stir in flour and red pepper flakes.
  • Stir about 3 minutes and whisk in milk.
  • Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly.
  • Simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 3 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the cream, the 4 cups of cheddar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  • Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.
  • Cook macaroni in boiling water, al dente. (per package instructions)
  • Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
  • Drain macaroni.
  • Return the macaroni to the pot (off the burner) and mix together the macaroni, reserved cooking water, and the sauce. (The sauce does stick a bit to the wax paper when removed)
  • Transfer macaroni mixture to baking dish.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over the macaroni and bake on middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown and bubbling.
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