Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe by Denise Santoro Lincoln
- 1 lb. smallish pasta (such as celentani small penne, or elbow)
- 1 ½ cups grated and packed Tillamook medium cheddar or Colby cheese
- 1 cup grated and packed Fontina or Cotswold cheese
- 1 cup grated and packed Gruyère Parmesan, or aged provolone cheese
- 2 cups whole milk plus ½ cup to pour in later
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- A dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- Cook pasta until al dente. Run cold water over it in a colander until it cools. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a large casserole dish.
- Grate cheeses and set them aside.
- Heat the milk in a sauce pan, being sure not to let it boil. Turn off heat and cover until ready to use.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour when it starts to bubble, making a roux .
- Add in the 2 cups of warm milk, whisking to incorporate it into the roux. Warm on medium until small bubbles start to form in the milk.
- Turn off the heat and add the Tillamook or Colby cheese, stirring until it evenly melts and becomes smooth.
- Add a ½ tsp salt, the nutmeg and the pepper to season.
- In a large pot or bowl, mix the cooled pasta with the cheese sauce. Stir until the sauce is completely incorporated. Taste a piece of pasta and add the other ½ tsp of salt and more pepper if desired.
- Add in the other two cheeses and gently stir so most of the cheese retains its grated appearance.
- Place pasta and cheese in the buttered casserole dish and drizzle the remaining half cup of milk on top.
- Spread the fresh bread crumbs evenly on top.
- Oil a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the casserole dish and tighten it around the sides, oil side down.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble up from inside the pasta.
- Uncover the dish and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the top starts to nicely brown and crisp up. Serve immediately.