This traditional macaroni and cheese recipe is made with sharp cheddar cheese and oven baked to a bubbling golden brown for a perfect dinner entree.
Recipe makes 6 To 8 servings.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt for macaroni water
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large pot of water (3 to 4 quarts), add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bring the water to a boil. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to the boiling water. Cook the pasta to al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a separate pot.
- Whisk in the flour, mustard, and white pepper and stir gently until it’s free of lumps.
- Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaves, and paprika. Simmer over low heat for ten minutes and remove the bay leaves.
- Add the egg to the mixture. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
Use 3 to 4 quarts of water per pound of pasta. Unsalted water will reach a boil faster than salted water, so add salt to rapidly boiling water just before adding the pasta. Use about 1 teaspoon salt for each quart of water.
Adding 1 tablespoon olive oil to the cooking water keeps pasta from sticking together while cooking. Olive oil in the water also keeps the water from boiling over.