Macaroni and Cheese

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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


  1. Heat the oven to 375°
  2. Butter a 1 ½ quart (9-inch) casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Put bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour over breadcrumbs. Toss. Set aside.
  4. Heat milk in saucepan over medium heat until hot, not boiling.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Slowly add hot milk to flour, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until it thickens.
  8. 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.
  9. Pour into casserole, top with remaining chesse and the breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until browned on top.
  11. Transfer casserole to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.


Serves 6