Friday, September 23, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

When Ben was little, I bowed to the tyranny of a two year old and made mac & cheese from the blue box. But honestly that stuff is expensive and full of strange ingredients. Plus I dislike using canned soups a great deal. In fact, you could say I downright hate it. Fortunately this mac & cheese recipe doesn’t need any cans of anything.


2 cups pasta (we prefer gemelli but if you like elbow macaroni, have at it)
4 T butter
¼ C all-purpose flour
3 C milk
2 C shredded semi-hard cheese (cheddar, Gouda, Monterey Jack—whatever you have on hand and feel free to mix it up)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Cook your pasta OR follow my "no humidity added to the house" method below. Drain well.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
  4. Whisk in the flour until a paste forms.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.
  6. Bring the sauce to the boil over moderately high heat, stirring or whisking constantly, until thickened.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the shredded cheeses until melted (not the Parmigiano-Reggiano just yet).
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Stir in the cooked pasta and then put the mixture into a 9 x 13 glass or ceramic baking pan.
  10. Top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  11. Broil about four inches from the heat for about four minutes or until richly browned.
  12. Let the dish sit for about five minutes before serving.
  13. Enjoy!

*Bonus no humidity method for cooking pasta:
  1. Bring the water to the boil in a covered saucepan.
  2. Add the pasta, cover and immediately turn off the heat.
  3. Let sit, covered, on the stove for 20 minutes.
  4. Drain and enjoy your humidity-free home.
Caveat: Angel hair pasta doesn’t really need the full 20 minutes and gemelli may take up to 25 minutes.


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