Baked Macaroni and Cheese

6 07 2009

 

Baked cheese goodness.

Baked cheese goodness.

I’ve always been a huge fan of macaroni and cheese.  I mean who wouldn’t be?  Cheese, pasta, butter, milk, buttery crunchy on top.  YUM!  But I have this uncanny knack to ignore the traditional recipe to make something even more naughty.  Normally you use cheddar cheese in mac and cheese, but that’s just not enough.  I need more flavor.  More cheesy goodness.  So I add extra sharp cheddar and/or gruyere and/or parmigiano-reggiano.

Or all of them!

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So that’s it.  I made macaroni and cheese tonight.  It was easy and it was delicious.  The gourmets make their mac and cheese with all of my favorite cheeses too, but they add all sorts of herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, whatever.  I like mine simple, they way grandma’s make it.  Cheese, pasta, butter, milk.  And then instead of a bread crumb crust on top… saltines!  Butter covered saltines.  Hungry?

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 lb pasta (macaroni or any other short stubby pasta)

4 T + 3 T unsalted butter (divided)

1/4 flour

2 c whole milk

4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese

4 oz gruyere cheese

2 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese

10-12 saltine crackers

1/2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and butter 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Boil pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
  3. Melt 4 T butter in small saucepan.  Add flour and stir for 2 minutes to remove raw flavor of flour.  Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly.  Add salt and pepper to sauce.
  4. Grate cheeses and add to white sauce.
  5. Add pasta to cheese sauce and place in baking dish.
  6. Crush saltines.  Melt 3 T butter and add to crushed saltines.  Place crumbs on top of pasta.
  7. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until topping golden brown.
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