Friday, January 13, 2012

Baked Mac-N-Cheese

I'll be honest, I LOVE macaroni and cheese....who doesn't?!  But....I've never tried to make it myself. Not the homemade kind at least! I saw this recipe from our local grocery store, Wegman's, and decided to give it a try since it seemed pretty easy.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
5 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Cook pasta according to directions on box.

2. Mix bread crumbs and paremesan in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Heat butter in a large saucepan. When melted, add flour and stir until smooth. Cook 3-4mins or until golden brown.

4. Add milk 1 cup at a time and whisk until smooth. Once all milk is added, bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 10mins, whisking at times.

5. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add salt and nutmeg and mix well. Add pasta and stir until coated.

6. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Dump in pasta mixture and spread out. Top with bread crumb mixture.

7. Bake on 400 for 15-20min or until golden.

Notes: Instead of parmesan, I used pecorino romano cheese and I used skim milk instead of whole milk like they say.  For the cheddar cheese, I used a mild cheddar although I'm sure sharp would be just as good. One other thing I might do differently next time is that it tells you to make the sauce in a large saucepan, then add the pasta to it. Well, it was so much stuff that it nearly overflowed my pan so next time I might use a bigger pot-like a stock pot or something for it. And my baking dish was a decent size (2.5 qt I think) and the pasta was right up to the rim of it! So maybe a bigger baking dish next time too! I also don't own a whisk so instead I just stirred the butter/flour/milk combination and it worked just fine.

This turned out very good! It's a very easy recipe too so I'll definitely make it again. And it makes a ton! All three of us had it for dinner and leftovers the next  night and I still had enough to freeze for another meal! I love when that happens!

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