Pastas

Best Ever Mac and Cheese

I really love my mac & cheese; the taste just brings me to my knees.
I order it everywhere- from the finest of dining to the dumpiest of dives.
I’ll even eat it on a drive. I sure do love my mac & cheese; can we have it for dinner pretty please?

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This is a very long overdue post, considering that I’ve been blogging for over a year now and have yet to write a recipe for my favorite dish. Mac and cheese is my favorite splurge on a menu. There is very little that is healthy about it, but it is oh, so good. I modified Alton Brown’s recipe this Valentine’s Day for Ryan and our roommates myself and it was the best gift I’ve ever received on Valentine’s Day. Top tier mac and cheese isn’t easy to come by. There are a few requirements necessary: it must be baked, have a crispy crust, creamy sauce, and a good choice in pasta. The pasta should be shaped like a scallop so that it soaks up the sauce. There isn’t anything fancy about this dish, just straight forward mac. It is my favorite thus far, but I am more than willing to continue the journey for finding the world’s best mac and cheese.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time:40 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

1/2 pound shell noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 1/2 cups reduced fat milk (skim is fine too)
1 small yellow onion, small dice
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
9 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Heat a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  • While the water is heating, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter, melt, and add the flour. Stir for roughly five minutes and make sure that there are no lumps. Whisk in the milk in a slow drizzle. Add the bay leaf and paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes and remove the bay leaf. While the sauce is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook for 7 minutes, or until al dente. Strain the pasta.
  • Whisk the egg in a small bowl and add it to the sauce by whisking rapidly so that it doesn’t curdle. Add 3/4 of the cheese and the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the pasta into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.
  • Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the panko crumbs and stir so that everything is combined. Sprinkle over top of the cheese layer.
  • Bake the mac and cheese for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before diving into it. Waiting the 5 minutes is by far the hardest part of making this recipe.

One Year Ago Today: Homemade Salsa

Other Salivating Pasta Dishes You’ll Love: 

Cheesy Mushroom Alfredo
Cheesy Mushroom Alfredo
Pasta Carbonara
Pasta Carbonara
Pesto Pasta
Kale Pesto Pasta
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