I've searched for the perfect home made version for years, preferring my food not to have day-glo in it. But nothing ever really compares to that first bite. I've given up trying to recreate orange chemicals and accepted that this is just a lovely and comforting pasta dish. Perfect for the gloomy weather we had yesterday. This is a mix mash of many different recipes and I find it works well for us, but also reheats well which many recipes don't do. It is fattening, but it's also full of protein and in moderation it's a luxurious treat.
- 1lb macaroni
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups grated cheddar
- 1 cup grated parmesan or gruyere
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cream
- Handful of cracker crumbs or buttered breadcrumbs.
- Dash nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Cook the macaroni half way through, for about 5-6 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water.
While it's cooking make the bechamel. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the flour. Stir for a minute or two then slowly add the milk and cream whisking the entire time. It will thicken as you bring it to the boil. Once it boils, remove from the heat.
Add a dash of grated nutmeg and pepper to taste. Hold off on salting until you've added the cheese as Parmesan can be quite salty.
Slowly stir in the cheese cup by cup. Once it's all incorporated, taste and season.
Drain the macaroni and add to the sauce. It will look as if there is too much sauce and the pasta is swimming in it. Remember it's only half cooked and will expand further in the oven.
Butter a casserole dish and pour the macaroni and cheese into it. Top with bread or cracker crumbs and additional Parmesan if desired.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and golden brown on top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.