Recipe: Serious Mac and Cheese

This dish is nothing if not flexible. You can heat it up with a pinch of cayenne or spice it up with nutmeg. Add a bit of grated onion to make it more savory or add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese to the topping for some extra crunch.

8 ounces elbow macaroni

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups milk

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 cups grated cheese, such as extra sharp cheddar

1/4 cup bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pasta pot, bring salted water to a boil and cook elbow macaroni to “al dente”; about 7 minutes. Drain and place in a baking dish.

Meanwhile, in a medium-size sauce pan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour to make a roux (paste). Add dry mustard and stir over medium heat for about 1 minute.

Slowly add milk, whisking constantly until completely smooth, about ten minutes. Stirring frequently, bring sauce to a simmer and let cook until thickened and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Add 2 1/2 cups of cheese in 1/2 cup batches until melted and fully incorporated, about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, mix well; top with remaining cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly and golden brown about 45 minutes to an hour. A terrific side dish or perfect meal with a green salad and of course, a glass of wine.