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.
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)
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.