To make this kid-pleaser heartier, add 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham when you toss the pasta with the sauce. For a baked version: Pour the mac-and-cheese mixture into a large casserole; bake at 350º for 10 minutes (until golden brown).
1 pound macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash ground nutmeg
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or Parmesan, or a combination)
How to Make It
Cook macaroni (see package directions). Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, and stir to create smooth paste; cook 1 minute. Add milk, whisking until sauce thickens and becomes smooth, about 6 minutes (it should be thick enough to almost coat a spoon).
Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Slowly sprinkle in cheese until sauce is thick, creamy, and smooth.
Pour sauce over macaroni, then toss until well-coated; serve.
How kids can help: Most of this recipe involves heat, so little ones shouldn't lend a hand.
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