Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Combine milk and flour in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add pasta; toss to coat. Let stand 4 minutes.
Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until the crumbs measure 1 1/4 cups.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in melted butter; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture.
I made this with whole milk (it's all we buy) and regular white cheddar (low fat cheese is an abomination of nature) so ours was probably even more delicious than the recipe as written. Also, I omitted the bread crumbs because my family doesn't like bread crumbs on their mac anyway, so no reason to go to the extra work or add the extra carbs. This received an enthusiastic thumbs up from the whole family!!
This was tasty, satisfying, and easy to prepare. Made a few subs to boost nutrition: whole wheat elbows; whole wheat flour and whole wheat bread crumbs; and Smart Balance instead of butter. Used a combo of reduced fat cheddar and reduced fat American. Will definitely make this again.
I thought it was a great recipe. I used regular sharp cheddar and part-skim mozzarella the second time to cut out more calories. It is a lot more mild that way, but I like it better. I also skipped the buttered bread crumbs the second time and used the butter in the roux instead which made it creamier and tasted way better to me than the weird butter bread on top. Great lower calorie recipe!
I'm in pharmacy school and have little to no time to cook, yet I'm always craving comfort food. This was so easy and fast, I will actually make it again! I used whole grain pasta and added broccoli, but I think you can probably add most vegetables and this would still taste good. Plus, my boyfriend thinks I'm a good cook. Win :)
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