We average a box of macaroni and cheese a week at my house. Do you have a regular weekly dish at your house? This week, I surprised my family by making a homemade version of macaroni and cheese.
My baked macaroni and cheese recipe isn't anything extraordinary. But somehow, the warm, cheesy pasta dish always feels like a big hug, like I can whisper into my kids' ears and tell them everything is going to be alright. That's probably why I made it, since I don't think there's such a thing as too many hugs.
Try it at your house!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
8 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 16-ounce bag of large elbow or shell pasta
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3-5 drops tabasco
3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
In a large sauce pan, bring 8 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter and add flour. Whisk together until mixture is smooth and lump-free. Slowly add milk and seasonings and continue to stir until sauce begins to thicken. Add 3 cups of the cheese and continue to stir until sauce is creamy and smooth.
Remove from heat and fold in the cooked pasta. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Makes 8-10 adult servings.
Optional: I typically use sharp cheddar cheese to give more flavor and my kids never notice the Tabasco. You can also top the dish with garlic bread crumbs if you want a crunchy topping.
Since we skipped opening a box for dinner, it seemed appropriate to whip up a pan of brownies for dessert. Yes, from a box.