Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 8
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni (3 cups)
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
- 1/2 cup finely minced onion
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole or 2-percent fat milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese (2 cups)
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs, or 1/2 cup dried
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain in a colander.
3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
4. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard and cayenne pepper.
5. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and toss to coat. Scrape the mixture into a 9 - by- 13-inch baking dish.
7. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
8. Bake the casserole until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes• You can mix-up the recipe some by adding 1 cup of chopped ham and/or 1/2 cup of thawed, frozen peas.
• Another variation for this macaroni and cheese is to use Fontina cheese and add some sauteed, chopped mushrooms and spinach, or use some Monterrey Jack cheese and add some canned chopped green chilies and a little chili powder.
• Make individual servings of mac and cheese: Spoon the macaroni and cheese into 1 to 2 cup-size ramekins, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
• To ensure that the sauce is smooth, add the cheese in small batches, stirring until smooth before adding the next batch.