Classic Mac & Cheese

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“In 'Mac & Cheese, Please!' by Laura Werlin”
1hr 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or pan or six 8-ounce ramekins; set aside.
  3. Fill a 4- to 5-quart pot about 3/4 full of water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt.
  4. Bring to a boil and add the pasta.
  5. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but firm, about 4 minutes, and drain; reserve the pot.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano; stir until mixed well; set aside.
  8. Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  9. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  10. Slowly whisk in the flour and stir constantly until the onion is coated with the flour, 30-45 seconds.
  11. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes more, or until the mixture starts to darken slightly and smell a bit nutty.
  12. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, and remaining 1 tsp salt and cook until the mixture is just beginning to thicken and bubble around the edges, 5-7 minutes.
  13. It should be similar in texture to cake batter.
  14. If it's soupy, continue cooking until it thickens.
  15. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar, the Gruyere, mustard powder, cayenne, and nutmeg and stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth but not too runny.
  16. Again, it should be similar in texture to cake batter; continue cooking if too soupy, until it thickens.
  17. Add the pasta and stir to combine.
  18. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  19. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar and top with the bread crumb mixture.
  20. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  21. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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