I’ve been craving mac n’ cheese for about 4 months now.
So I made it. Sometimes I forget how simple it is to make a classic macaroni and cheese. It comes together so quickly and it’s one of the best comfort meals out there. The ingredients are also limited and you probably have most of them on hand.
The key here is to use good cheese – you really need to purchase high quality cheese to get a macaroni and cheese that is creamy and delicious. Check out the cheese section at your grocery store or stop by a local cheese shop if you have one. I used Gruyère cheese and white sharp cheddar from Wisconsin – if it’s made in Wisconsin…you know it’s good.
This recipe called for tomatoes and bread crumbs – you don’t have to use either but I would suggest adding the bread crumbs – they add another zest of flavor and crunchy texture to the creamy noodles.
Mac n’ cheese is truly the perfect cold weather, one pot meal, to satisfy your comfort food craving…and it’s simple too!
- ½ pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
- 2 cups milk (I used skim)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
- 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (1 cups)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tomato
- ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pot and then add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyère, Cheddar, 11/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 2½-quart baking dish.
- Slice the tomato and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Slightly adapted from: Ina Garten