Classic Mac & Cheese

"In 'Mac & Cheese, Please!' by Laura Werlin"
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 30mins




  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or pan or six 8-ounce ramekins; set aside.
  • Fill a 4- to 5-quart pot about 3/4 full of water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt.
  • Bring to a boil and add the pasta.
  • Cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but firm, about 4 minutes, and drain; reserve the pot.
  • While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Turn off the heat and add the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano; stir until mixed well; set aside.
  • Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the flour and stir constantly until the onion is coated with the flour, 30-45 seconds.
  • Continue stirring for about 2 minutes more, or until the mixture starts to darken slightly and smell a bit nutty.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, and remaining 1 tsp salt and cook until the mixture is just beginning to thicken and bubble around the edges, 5-7 minutes.
  • It should be similar in texture to cake batter.
  • If it's soupy, continue cooking until it thickens.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar, the Gruyere, mustard powder, cayenne, and nutmeg and stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth but not too runny.
  • Again, it should be similar in texture to cake batter; continue cooking if too soupy, until it thickens.
  • Add the pasta and stir to combine.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar and top with the bread crumb mixture.
  • Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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