Macaroni and Cheese

James Carrier

"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.

 

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 415
  • Calories from fat: 22%
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 6.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 52g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sodium: 532mg
  • Cholesterol: 34mg

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

Preparation

  1. 1. Cook macaroni in about 2 quarts boiling water just until tender to bite, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6. Bake in a 450° oven until crumbs are browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
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