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Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked macaroni with rich Cheddar and Gouda cheeses, finished with a crumb topping.

1

Who didn’t love Macaroni & Cheese as a kid? Do we every really outgrow that adoration for it? Well, maybe for that kind that comes out of a box.

We grew up, and so can the Mac & Cheese!

How to make Baked Mac & Cheese

To begin, you are going to want about 4 cups of grated cheese. Today I had some Gouda in my fridge that I wanted to use up. So I used half Sharp Cheddar and half Gouda. You could use cheddar & swiss, or any combination you choose. Just please use real cheese. We are really trying to move away from blue & yellow boxes here.

2

Mix your cheeses together, and set aside about 1 1/2 cup.

3

Dice up a small red onion.

4

While you are cooking the sauce, go ahead and start the water for your pasta.

Heat your oven to 375.

In a saucepan, melt 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) of Butter

5

Toss in the onions, and let them cook in the butter until they are just tender.

6

When your water is ready, start cooking your pasta. I used Cavatappi, but you can use regular Macaroni, or any similar pasta. The great thing about cavatappi is the little ridges on the noodles that help the sauce coat it well.

7

When the onions are tender, whisk in 1/4 cup flour

8

When the mixture is bubbly, whisk in 4 cups of whole milk.

9

Add in 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

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A Bay Leaf

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1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

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Some Salt & Pepper – about 1/2 teaspoon each

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And finally 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard

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Continually stir and cook this over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat, but stir for another minute or so, as you don’t want it to scald on the bottom of the hot pan.

Then begin stirring in your grated cheese.

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Mmmmmmm

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When your pasta is done cooking, strain it and pour it into a heat-safe bowl.

When all of your cheese is melted into the sauce (minus the portion you set aside) discard the bay leaf and pour the sauce into the pasta and give it a stir.

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Ladle the mixture into ramekins. (If you don’t want to do this, you can pour it all into a 9×13 baking pan.)

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Top with the reserved cheese.

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And the final touch, top with some fresh bread crumbs.

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Into the oven! Bake these for 20-25 minutes or until they are bubbly, and the crumbs begin to get golden.

Mmmmmmmm. I think the topping is the best part. The crumbs get crunchy, and the cheese on top is like a crust of happiness.

Enjoy!

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Yield: 8

Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked macaroni with rich Cheddar and Gouda cheeses, finished with a crumb topping.

 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cavatappi or similar pasta
  • 4 cups grated cheese (combination of cheddar & gouda or gouda & Swiss)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 4 c milk
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • about 1/2 cup soft, fresh bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. To begin, grated your cheeses. I used half Sharp Cheddar and half Gouda. You could use cheddar & Swiss, or any combination you choose. Just please use real cheese. We are really trying to move away from blue & yellow boxes here.
  2. Mix your cheeses together, and set aside about 1 1/2 cup.
  3. Dice up the onion. While you are cooking the sauce, go ahead and start the water for your pasta. Heat your oven to 375.
  4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and toss in the onions, letting them cook in the butter until they are just tender.
  5. When your water is ready, start cooking your pasta. I used Cavatappi, but you can use regular Macaroni, or any similar pasta.
  6. When the onions are tender, whisk in the flour. When the mixture is bubbly, whisk in the whole milk. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt, pepper and dry mustard.
  7. Continually stir and cook this over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Then remove the pan from the heat, but stir for another minute or so, as you don't want it to scald on the bottom of the hot pan.
  8. Then begin stirring in your grated cheese, melting it into the sauce. When your pasta is done cooking, strain it and pour it into a heat-safe bowl.
  9. When all of your cheese is melted into the sauce (minus the portion you set aside) discard the bay leaf, pour the sauce into the pasta and give it a stir. Ladle the mixture into 8 ramekins. (If you don't want to do this, you can pour it all into a 9x13 baking pan.) Top with the reserved cheese. And the final touch, top with some fresh bread crumbs.
  10. Into the oven!
  11. Bake these for 20-25 minutes or until they are bubbly, and the crumbs begin to get golden. Enjoy!

Notes

This can also be made in a 9 x 13 baking dish instead of the ramekins.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 504Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 695mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g
Nutritional Disclaimer: Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and estimated by a service called Nutritionix. That is a web-based nutritional calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. If the nutritional information is vital to you please verify it using your favorite trusted source.

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