"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.
Cook macaroni in about 2 quarts boiling water just until tender to bite, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.
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.
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.
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.
Add macaroni to cheese sauce and mix, then pour into a shallow 2- to 2 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs.
Bake in a 450° oven until crumbs are browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
I love macaroni and cheese but my waistline sure doesn't. I would love to be able to gobble up the full fat version of this wonderful comfort food but I just can't. This recipe is my happy medium. I have tried many other lowfat options but I always return to this one. I been making this lowfat mac and cheese option regularly since it was first published in Sunset in 1998.
I substitute mini, whole wheat penne and make a bit more of the sauce than pasta to make it creamy. This allows it to hold together when sliced in a square. I try different varieties like adding Tuna or Ham chunks and peas to make it a meal.
I make it in a casserole dish and freeze different sized portions for a go-to, quick and easy option for lunch or dinner.
This recipe turned out okay. I scaled it down half size because I forgot to buy two cans of evaporated milk. I also used sourdough instead of whole wheat bread because that's what I had on hand. The onions & nutmeg were a little much. I'd probably try another recipe before making this one again.
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