Before I knew about real mac & cheese, I’d always assumed it came from a blue and yellow box with a powdered cheese packet. Not that there is anything wrong with that kind of mac & cheese, but once you’ve tasted the real thing there’s no going back. You can’t un-taste what you’ve tasted.
For this mac & cheese recipe, I added in heaps of gouda and cheddar but feel free to experiment with other varieties.
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 6-8 ounces pancetta (optional)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 8 ounces gouda, shredded
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
Step 1: Shred your cheeses and combine in a large mixing bowl. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta to al dente. Also, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, fry up your pancetta and set aside. Skip this step if you’re leaving out the pancetta.
Step 3: In a large sauce pan or pot, melt butter.
Step 4: Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps.
Step 5: Stir in the milk, onion, pancetta and paprika.
Step 6: Temper in the egg. To temper the egg, slowly add in a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture until it’s the same temperature as the mixture. The purpose of doing this is so you don’t make scrambled eggs. Next, stir in 3/4 of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Lastly, fold in your macaroni.
Step 7: In a small skillet, add in 1 tbsp of butter and your bread crumbs. Toast until golden brown and set aside.
Step 8: Transfer the mac and cheese to a casserole dish and top with the left over cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let is sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
And there you have it! Your very own mac & cheese from scratch. How fancy are you now! While it does take a little longer to make than the blue box version, I promise that the results are a hundred times better.
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