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Macaroni and Cheese

James Carrier
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
"Even now, I still get a craving for really creamy macaroni and cheese," says Sunset's senior food editor, Jerry Anne Di Vecchio, after almost four decades of pushing the culinary envelope. Satisfy your own craving for a comfort-inducing pasta meal by making this cheesy dish tonight. 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 slices (2 oz. total) whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (12 oz. each) evaporated nonfat milk
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 cups (3/4 lb.) shredded reduced-fat (made with 2% milk) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Nutrition Information

  • calories 415
  • caloriesfromfat 22 %
  • protein 25 g
  • fat 10 g
  • satfat 6.4 g
  • carbohydrate 52 g
  • fiber 1.9 g
  • sodium 532 mg
  • cholesterol 34 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook macaroni in about 2 quarts boiling water just until tender to bite, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.

  2. Meanwhile, tear bread into 1/2-inch chunks. In a food processor or blender, combine bread, parmesan cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon paprika; whirl until mixture is coarse crumbs.

  3. In 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, frequently stir onion and 2 tablespoons water until onion is limp and begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika.

  4. Remove onion mixture from heat and blend in milk and broth until smooth, then stir over high heat until sauce boils, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat again, add cheese, and stir until it melts. Add nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Add macaroni to cheese sauce and mix, then pour into a shallow 2- to 2 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs.

  6. Bake in a 450° oven until crumbs are browned, 3 to 4 minutes.