Macaroni & Cheese is a comfort food for many. This is very close to how my aunt made it when I was a child. Once I moved to New England from Chicago, I started using the Cabot’s White Cheddar Cheese. It adds a nice bite. This recipe is from Cabot’s.

Baked Macaroni & Cabot White Cheddar Cheese

Makes 6 servings
Lots of creamy sauce and macaroni are layered with additional grated cheese for an especially memorable version of this all-time cheddar favorite. Buttered crumbs browned on top complete the vision.

When it comes to stretching a food-dollar, pasta is a perennial favorite. It’s economical, hearty and always a hit with the family. Rich in complex carbohydrates, pasta is also enriched with many B-vitamins, including folic acid, which is believed to aid in the prevention of birth defects and heart disease. This one-dish meal is hearty enough to stand alone as a dinner entre and makes enough to feed the entire family. To save time and money for the future, be sure to portion leftovers into individual servings and freeze for later.
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups dry macaroni or other small pasta shape (10 ounces)
3 cups milk
5 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (about 2 slices firm white bread)
1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Several dashes Tabasco Sauce
16 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 4 cups)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2-quart baking dish or coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente (slightly underdone), 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk in saucepan to just below simmer.

3. In another saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Pour 1 tablespoon of butter into small bowl, add bread crumbs and toss together; set aside.

4. Add flour to remaining butter in saucepan and whisk over heat for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in hot milk and continue stirring until mixture thickens and comes to simmer. Whisk in salt, nutmeg, Tabasco and 2 cups of cheese.

5. Drain pasta thoroughly in colander. Return to pot, add cheese sauce and mix together thoroughly.

6. Spread one-third of pasta mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish. Scatter one-third of remaining cheese on top. Spoon another one-third of pasta on top and add another one-third of cheese. Top with remaining pasta, then remaining cheese. Sprinkle with reserved bread crumbs.

7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

TIP: Once I tasted this at the Renaissance Hotel on M Street in Washington DC, I was hooked. Add some shaved truffles to the casserole. Delicious is the only word to describe the outcome. Now, I don’t always have truffles, but I do frequently add a little truffle oil. Not quite as good, but a great addition.

I’ve also added green chilies for bite and color, or ham for protein. Truffles are still the best.