Perfect Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni

Preparation

1
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2
Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss.
3
Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
4
Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
5
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
6
Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.)
7
Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
8
Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top.
9
Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Tools

 



About

From Martha Stewart Living, February 1999

Yield:

12 servings

Added:

December 10, 2009

Creator:

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