Mac & Cheese

If this recipe seems a bit daunting to prepare, think of it as five simple steps: boiling the pasta, grating the cheese, melting the butter and flour, adding the hot milk, and throwing everything in together. The result is a great, classic comfort food.

1 pound macaroni/elbows (or your favorite pasta)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk, heated, but not boiling

8 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1 pound muenster cheese, grated

1/4 cup (approximately) parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (a pinch)

paprika

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Set aside a 9”x13” pan.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the macaroni, following the directions on the box.  Set aside
  2. In a saucepan, over a medium heat, melt the butter, then add the flour, and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.  It may turn brown.  That’s oaky.  Slowly whisk in the warmed milk and stir, more than occasionally, for up to ten minutes,  or at least until it’s thickened. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, add the milk mixture to the grated cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted.  Add to the cooked macaroni, and combine.
  4. Pour the macaroni mixture into the pan.  Sprinkle on the parmesan, and then the paprika.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned on top.

Makes 8-10 servings (or one MASSIVE serving…)

NOTE: For a gluten-free option, use rice flour instead of regular flour.  And substitute gluten-free noodles for the pasta.  If you’re not a big fan of gluten-free pasta, don’t worry.  The great flavor and texture of the cheese will hide any shortcomings you might find in the gluten-free pasta.

If you want to see a video of me making this on Mass Appeal, on NBC channel 22 in Springfield, check it out here with my other tv cooking appearances.