After years of tweaking this famous and popular recipe, I believe I have brought it close to perfection. Here is the all time favorite recipe for you to try.
Macaroni and Cheese
1 16 oz pkg elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart (4 cups) warm milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
8 ozs cubed Cheddar cheese (can use mild, medium, or sharp – your preference)
8 ozs cubed Monterey Jack cheese (use Pepper Jack for a spicy Mac & Cheese)
8 ozs shredded Mozzarella cheese
Paprika to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish (I use cooking spray). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add elbow macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux (over medium to medium-low heat). Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then gradually whisk in warm milk (just a little at a time) to make a white sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer; add salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir frequently until sauce thickens. (be sure to stir very frequently to avoid sticking to bottom of pan)
Once sauce thickens, remove from heat and stir in cheeses. Combine pasta with sauce and stir well (you can do this on the same saucepan or on the baking dish). Once the pasta is mixed with the sauce and on the baking dish, sprinkle paprika on top. Bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until top is the desired crispiness.
Let rest 20 minutes before serving.
Do you have any questions or comments? Did you try it? Please let me know!