A good mac & cheese dish is the ultimate comfort food. And while boxed versions have their time and place, homemade is otherworldly and really quite simple to make. The addition of sharp cheddar in this recipe makes it just a little more grown-up, but not so much to offend young palates.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and/or chives
- Cook the macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture forms a paste.
- Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the shredded cheese until it is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until the pasta is evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs or chopped parsley, if desired.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.