Warning: This will make you crave mac n cheese. I cannot be held responsible if your drool.
Seriously this stuff is the pure defintion of comfort food. I remember my mom making it for me as a kid and being so excited ( Foodie from a young age). We all have had the boxed mac n cheese but this stuff isn’t even in the same category. It really should be a food group on it’s own.
You know you want it.
My only regret is that I didn’t take a picture with the yummy bread crumb/ cheese crumble on top. Also my other regret is eating more of this than any human being should.
For the béchamel:
4 CUPS (1 quart) whole milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 ounces shredded 2-year aged sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
3 ounces grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 cup)
2/3 cup panko (optional)
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 of parmigiana or cheddar cheese
- Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer, then turn off the heat and set aside.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown in color, about 3 minutes. remove from the heat.
- While whisking constantly, slowly add the hot milk to the flour mixture until evenly combined and smooth. (It will get very thick when you first add the milk, then thin out.)
- Return the saucepan to medium-high heat and while whisking constantly, cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the salt, taste, and add the remaining salt as desired. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it’s almost al dente (just on the edge of being underdone), then drain and rinse with cold water; set aside. (If you plan to top the mac ‘n’ cheese with panko and bake it, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.)
- Place the reserved saucepan of béchamel over medium heat and stir in both cheeses just until melted and smooth. Add the pasta and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is heated through and steaming, about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Serve immediately or, if baking, transfer to a 5-quart baking dish. Melt the butter and combine with cheese and panko crumbs. Sprinkle on top of mac n cheese. Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees ( or until top is crispy)
Thanks for reading,