Homemade Mac & Cheese

11/29/2016
Serves 12 People
Equipment
food processor or box grater
Prep time
30m
Cook Time
45m

I think you’re going to like this.

post-bacon, pre-baking
Here we are, post-bacon, pre-baking (I crack myself up.)  And yeah, maybe this feeds a little more than 12… I like to give my “extra” to a neighbor or friend or my parents or, you know, whomever needs it.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds
    small pasta (e.g., shells, elbows, tubitini)
  • 4-6 Cups
    shredded cheese
  • 1/2 Cup
    unsalted butter
  • 3/4 Cups
    all purpose flour
  • 3-4 Cups
    milk
  • 2 Teaspoons
    cayenne pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons
    nutmeg
  • 1.5 Pounds
    cooked, crumbled bacon

Instructions

  1. Boil your pasta/macaroni (shells, elbows, tubitini, whatever). Don't forget to salt the water! Strain, toss in olive oil, set aside.

  2. Shred/grate about your cheese. I like to use a blend of gruyere, cheddar, sometimes mozzarella, and if you like it, a little blue cheese for bite. Up to your own taste. There's no such thing as too much cheese in this dish, and if you grate more than you end up using you can just set it aside or freeze it for next time!

  3. Make a roux: in a large pot on the stove, melt 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter. Once melted, whisk in about 3/4 cup flour. Whisk/stir for about 2 minutes to give the flour time to cook.

  4. Add about three to four cups milk-- whisk in gradually, while on medium heat, until all the milk is incorporated and your mixture is thick and creamy looking.

  5. Then I like to add cayenne and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Then stir in the shredded cheese until it's nice and goopy and the "liquid" won't take any more cheese. Then, stir in the pasta.

  6. Pour it all into a baking dish and top with bacon crumbles if you like-- of course you like-- and bake in the oven at 350 for about 30-45 minutes or until it's golden brown, bubbly, crispy and you can't resist the smell any longer.

  7. Cover and stick in your fridge until Tuesday or Wednesday's dinner-- reheats in the oven beautifully-- or eat while piping hot as it comes out of the oven! You can't lose, either way.

Nutrition: It's cheese, pasta, butter and bacon. You do the math.

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