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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

William Meppem
Yield Makes 4 to 6 servings
Dijon mustard, sharp Cheddar, and hot sauce are the three secret ingredients in this creamy baked macaroni and cheese that give the casserole an extra bite. Pair this comfort food with a side salad to round out the meal.Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) package dried elbow macaroni or favorite pasta (about 2 1/4 cups, uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  • Toppings (optional):
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium; gradually whisk in milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in pasta, mustard, and next 4 ingredients, stirring just until cheese begins to melt.

  3. Pour pasta mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano or more Cheddar. If desired, top with fresh breadcrumbs, and drizzle evenly with melted butter.

  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.