Real, creamy, cheesy, irresistible macaroni and cheese: there is just nothing like it! I would have liked to take a better photo for you all, but every time I make this dish I can barely snap a pic with my phone before the entire pan has been devoured. It’s that good.
I usually make a sneaky, healthier macaroni and “cheese” for my kids which includes blended veggies in the sauce, but today I’m offering you the real, decadent recipe, complete with a creamy béchamel sauce and my special blend of four different cheeses. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Macaroni and Cheese
- 6 tablespoons (90 g) butter
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 g) flour
- 4 1/2 cups (1100 ml) hot milk
- 1/3 cup (70 ) cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups (250 g) Gruyère or sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 3/4 cups (200 g) Fontina or provolone cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup (50 g) parmesan, grated
- 1 lb (454 g) pasta of choice (I prefer shells or rigatoni)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a couple minutes. Slowly pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring, then lower the heat and let simmer, still stirring until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the cream cheese, salt, nutmeg, pepper and 3/4 of the grated cheeses. Set aside.
When the water boils, salt generously then add the pasta. Cook the until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package instructs). Drain, reserving a small cup of the pasta water.
In a large bowl, combine the drained pasta with the cheese sauce and a small splash of the pasta water. Pour mixture into buttered dish and sprinkle remaining grated cheeses over the top.
Bake in hot oven for 15 minutes, or until the surface browns and the cheese bubbles. If desired, broil for a couple minutes to add an extra crisp to the topping (but be careful not to burn it!). Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.