This is literally the greatest Mac & Cheese. Ever.
Have you ever craved a super cheesy and SUPER sharp Macaroni and Cheese? And when you did find a place that served it, or found a recipe that seemed legit, and you tried it, it just wasn't hitting the spot? Well look no further! This recipe is actually what your taste buds are cravin', and it can be found in your OWN kitchen.
Now, I am really not one that needs a dish packed with cheese, and I am not a huge fan of pasta, but sometimes I just really, REALLY want a good Mac & Cheese. And I am not talking about one with a little American cheese, or one that is so oily it looks like soup. I mean one that is baked so perfect that it melts in your mouth, and so sharp that is tastes like you are actually biting into a block of Extra sharp cheddar cheese. I have searched high and low for a recipe that was exactly what I was looking for and thank God I found it riiiiight here! I am SO thankful for Kitchen Treaty paring me with my (and Ryan's) all time favorite Mac & Cheese dish. I mean come on- the title speaks for itself! Plus, nothing cheers up my Monday blues more than a comforting dish like this (and it's soooo easy).
ENJOY! xx S.
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 1 8oz block of Sharp Cheddar (or 3 cups grated)
- 1 3/4 cups of Elbow noodles
- 1/4 cup of Whole Wheat Flour
- 3 Tbs of unsalted butter (salted will be fine too!)
- 2 1/2 cups of 2% Milk
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- Salt & Pepper to taste
TO START: Bring a few cups of water to boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente according to cooking instructions on packaging. Drain but do not rinse pasta off, and set aside. Add a little butter or oil to keep from sticking until ready to cook. Then, preheat oven to 375° degrees fahrenheit.
PREPARE: Start grating the cheese until you have 1 full cup grated. Set in a bowl aside until ready to use. With the balance of cheese block, cut into little cubes and set aside in separate bowl.
START COOKIN: Heat medium size pot, over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and let melt. Once completely melted, add the flour, paprika, and some Salt & Pepper (I usually just sprinkle a light layer of each). With a rubber spatula, stir and combine for about 2 minutes until it begins to bubble a lot.
MAKING THE SAUCE: Add in the milk slowly, a little at a time, while continuously whisking. Cook and whisk occasionally, a little every minute or so, until it starts to thicken and begin to bubble (about 8-10 minutes). Turn off and remove from heat, and add in about a quarter of the cheese cubes you had previously set aside. Whisk in until melted, and repeat until all cheese cubes are added and melted completely. Add pasta noodles and toss well until combined. Taste here and fall in love. Resist eating all until you bake it (the hardest part).
BAKE!: In a greased casserole dish, add half the cheesy noodles. Take a hand full of half the grated cheddar and sprinkle over the top. Then, add the rest of the pasta to coat, and finish off with the remainder of cheddar, some paprika, salt & pepper (sometimes I even put some red pepper flakes on top too!). Cook for about 25-30 minutes until the top turns golden. Broil for 2 minutes (but keep a close eye so it won't burn), until the top layer is super crispy crunchy. Let cool, set, and serve! mmmm
**Note: When making the sauce, DO NOT add more cheese than the recipe calls for. It will get too sticky and hard to manage, but you can drizzle a little more cheese on top and in the middle! Just try to control so it will cook evenly and correctly. Also, try to share with others. I could literally sit in front of the TV with this whole casserole dish and finish it off, but that would be too greedy- especially since this serves 3-4 generously. If you do want to be a little bit greedy, this is really good paired with fries. :)