Who didn’t love Macaroni & Cheese as a kid? Do we every really outgrow that adoration for it? Well, maybe for that kind that comes out of a box.
We grew up, and so can the Mac & Cheese!
To begin, you are going to want about 4 cups of grated cheese. Today I had some Gouda in my fridge that I wanted to use up. So I used half Sharp Cheddar and half Gouda. You could use cheddar & swiss, or any combination you choose. Just please use real cheese. We are really trying to move away from blue & yellow boxes here.
Mix your cheeses together, and set aside about 1 1/2 cup.
Dice up a small red onion.
While you are cooking the sauce, go ahead and start the water for your pasta.
Heat your oven to 375.
In a saucepan, melt 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of Butter
Toss in the onions, and let them cook in the butter until they are just tender.
When your water is ready, start cooking your pasta. I used Cavatappi, but you can use regular Macaroni, or any similar pasta. The great thing about cavatappi is the little ridges on the noodles that help the sauce coat it well.
When the onions are tender, whisk in 1/4 cup flour
When the mixture is bubbly, whisk in 4 cups of whole milk.
Add in 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
A Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
Some Salt & Pepper – about 1/2 teaspoon each
And finally 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Continually stir and cook this over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat, but stir for another minute or so, as you don’t want it to scald on the bottom of the hot pan.
Then begin stirring in your grated cheese.
When your pasta is done cooking, strain it and pour it into a heat-safe bowl.
When all of your cheese is melted into the sauce (minus the portion you set aside) discard the bay leaf and pour the sauce into the pasta and give it a stir.
Ladle the mixture into ramekins. (If you don’t want to do this, you can pour it all into a 9×13 baking pan.)
Top with the reserved cheese.
And the final touch, top with some fresh bread crumbs.
Into the oven! Bake these for 20-25 minutes or until they are bubbly, and the crumbs begin to get golden.
Mmmmmmmm. I think the topping is the best part. The crumbs get crunchy, and the cheese on top is like a crust of happiness.