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Photo: Frances Janisch Photo by: Photo: Frances Janisch

Macaroni and Cheese

Real Simple NOVEMBER 2005

  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • Prep time:40 Minutes
  • Other:20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 3 1/2 cups (about 14 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar

Preparation

Heat oven to 400° F. Butter a casserole or 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Cook the macaroni until almost tender but still firm, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley (if using), oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper; set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stirring constantly, add the flour and cook for 3 minutes; the mixture will clump together. Still stirring constantly, add the milk slowly. Cook for 7 minutes. Add the Cheddar and the remaining salt and cook, stirring, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the macaroni and combine. Transfer to the baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Bake until golden and bubbling slightly around the edges, about 25 minutes.

Tip: You can vary the flavor of the bread crumbs by using a different herb, such as thyme or oregano. Or minimalists can choose to omit it.

To Freeze: Make the bread-crumb mixture and place it in a resealable freezer bag. Assemble (but do not bake) the casserole. Cover tightly with two layers of aluminum foil. Store both for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Thaw the casserole overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over it. Cover and heat in a 350° F oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and heat until bubbling, about 20 minutes more.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calcium: 687.14mg
  • Calories: 809.64
  • Carbohydrate: 72.96g
  • Cholesterol: 101.74mg
  • Fat: 43.31g
  • Fiber: 3.01g
  • Iron: 3.89mg
  • Protein: 31.42mg
  • Saturated fat: 22.34g
  • Sodium: 1030.58mg
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