Macaroni and cheese

Adapted from an Alton Brown recipe.

1/2 pound cavatappi (preferred) or elbow macaroni (see note)
3 TB butter
3 TB flour
2 tsp powdered mustard (Coleman’s preferred)
2-1/2 c milk, warmed
1/2 c diced onion
2 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika (preferred) or a couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated or diced
Salt and pepper to taste

The topping:

1c panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 TB butter

Cook the paste al dente and drain.

In a 2 qt saucepan, melt the 3 TB butter and add the flour and mustard powder. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes until completely blended with no lumps. Do not let the flour brown. Stir in the milk, onion, paprika/hot sauce, and bay leaves. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add a healthy grinding of black pepper. Beat the egg and stir it in rapidly so that it does not set before mixed. Add 3/4 of the cheese and stir, over low heat, until it is all incorporated. Remove from heat; taste for salt and add some more if needed. Stir in the pasta and pour into a greased casserole dish. Distribute the remaining cheese on top.

Melt the 2 TB butter and stir in the panko. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350f for 45 minutes.

Note: I think of cavatappi as elbow macaroni that went to finishing school. They are a bit longer, and sort of spiral in shape, and the outside is ridged, better to hold sauces and the like. De Cecco is one brand that is widely available.

Explore posts in the same categories: Pasta

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