Mac n’ Cheese
I haven’t made mac n’ cheese in forever but was in the mood for them today. I didn’t have real macaroni so I used shell pasta, not too small, and it worked fine as the shape works well with saucy pasta. I made a small amount, only 8oz of pasta, because I didn’t want leftovers, too much food around here anyway.
I like to serve mac n cheese in gratin dishes, sprinkle the top with plenty of bread crumbs and run it under a broiler for a few minutes to crisp the topping. The contradiction between the creamy mac and crispy topping is what makes the dish for me. I like texture.
I made it with just cheddar this time but it’s also fun to mix different cheeses together Ingredients, Gruyer, fontina, goat or even blue cheese.
8 oz pasta shells
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk, heated
1/2 teaspoon salt
A grinding of pepper
A dash of tabasco
A couple of grindings of nutmeg
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup bread crumbs mixed with about 1 tablespoon melted butter (just to moisten them)
Cook the pasta on plenty of boiling salted water until just done, do not overcook. Drain well.
Melt butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and stir it into the butter. Cook the flour for a few minutes over medium heat.
Add the warm milk in a steady stream, whisking throughout, then bring to a boil still stirring to prevent lumps until the sauce starts to thicken.
Add tabasco and nutmeg, then add the cheese and stir until it melts.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix.
Spoon the pasta into the gratin dishes, allowing the pasta to pile up in the dish.
Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Broil under a preheated broiler for a few short minutes until the crumbs are golden, being careful not to burn it.