Best Macaroni & Cheese Recipe Ever!

My sister-in-law, Deb Murphy, made this side dish for Easter, and I have to tell you, I wasn’t that excited. I’m not usually a Macaroni & Cheese fan. I spooned a little on my plate to be polite, and fell in LOVE with it after the first bite. I went back for seconds, and then snuck back for a little more. So good–you have to try it!

Serves 12

6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow noodles ( I prefer penne rigate because they are larger)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

This recipe is originally from Martha Stewart.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 1 Funky Woman
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 06:17:36

    This sounds amazing and my daughter would flip. She is a mac and cheese nut! Thanks for the recipe!

    Megan

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Day 76 Botulism, Anyone? « Roxanne Writes On
  3. Clayton Thomas
    Apr 30, 2011 @ 16:27:14

    Sounds delicious for my boys! Following you on Twitter.

    All my best,

    Clayton
    http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com
    twitter: @claylauren2001

    Reply

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