Macaroni and Cheese
3 slices of bread, crust removed and made into bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick)
2 ¾ cups milk
½ pound elbow macaroni
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 ¼ cups (about 9 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup grated Gruyere or ¾ cup grated pecorino Romano
- Heat the oven to 375°
- Butter a 1 ½ quart (9-inch) casserole dish. Set aside.
- Put bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour over breadcrumbs. Toss. Set aside.
- Heat milk in saucepan over medium heat until hot, not boiling.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions, subtracting 2 or 3 minutes from the cooking time specified on the package. When the macaroni is finished, strain, and rinse under cold running water and then drain well.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. When butter bubbles, add flour and stir until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Slowly add hot milk to flour, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until it thickens.
- Remove pan from heat and add nutmeg, cayenne pepper, black pepper, 1 ½ cups of the white cheddar, ¾ cup Gruyere or ½ cup Romano. Stir until well combined.
- Pour into casserole, top with remaining chesse and the breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until browned on top.
- Transfer casserole to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.