A very good friend of mine taught me how to make homemade macaroni and cheese. She is an amazing chef and has worked in some of my favorite restaurants in Portland, Maine. I think a lot of people make theirs by adding shredded cheese directly to the macaroni and baking it. This recipe is very different. In this one, you make a cheese sauce and just about drown the macaroni in it before baking. And because of this, the left overs are still perfectly cheesy. I hope my rendition of her recipe will do her and her amazing dish proud.
- 1, 1lb box of pasta. Pick your noodle. I usually go for a medium shell.
- 4 Tbsps of Butter
- 2 Tbsp of Flour
- Salt and Pepper
- Roughly 1/2 a quart of half and half
- 2 cups shredded cheese blend. This is really where I can leave it up to you. Any type of cheese you want will probably be fine. Sometimes I make it with all cheddar and other times I throw a softer cheese in the mix, like gruyere or Monterey jack.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni until completely done. Make sure the water is very well salted. While that’s boiling, make a roux. Melt butter in a medium sized pot. Once melted, add flour and whisk. The roux should be a fairly thick consistency. If it seems too thin, add more flour. Add half a quart of half & half. Whisk together well. Once the mixture has heated up a bit (but before it’s boiling) add the cheese mixture, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken as the mixture reaches a simmer. If cheese sauce gets too thick, add more half & half. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When pasta is done, strain and put in an oven safe casserole dish or large bowl. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and stir together. Put in the oven for 10 minutes and serve.
Other Variations: Feel free to play around with this. Everyone has a staple way they make homemade Mac N Cheese. Don’t be afraid to try something new or add something to the dish. Sometimes I cook kielbasa and add it to the dish before I bake it. I’ve also cooked very crispy bacon, chopped it up and put that in there. Sometimes I put crushed Ritz crackers on the top. I’ve also put seasoned, crushed breadcrumbs on top. Make it your own. There is no wrong way to do this. Unless it tastes terrible, then you have in fact done something wrong. But I’m sure you’ll be fine.