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Macaroni & Cheese

Few things are as good as a steaming bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese, especially when it doesn’t come out of a box. There’s something very satisfying about making this classic dish yourself. And it tastes a whole lot better than anything made in a factory!

Serving:

Ingredients

1 1 pound box penne pasta
1/2 stick Butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
a big splash white wine
4 cups milk
1 12 ounce can unsweetened evaporated milk, or 1 1/2 cups regular milk
1 pound medium aged cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
a pinch cayenne pepper
a sprinkle or two salt
1/2 loaf Italian bread, torn into large pieces
a generous splash olive oil

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir for several minutes until it softens and flavours the butter. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a smooth paste forms (the roux). Combining the butter and flour into a roux first helps evenly distribute the flour throughout the sauce and prevents lumps.

Continue cooking a few more minutes as the roux toasts and develops a bit of flavour. Slowly stir in the wine and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth again.

Add both milks and switch to a whisk, mixing until the sauce is smooth again. Continue whisking until the mixture is very thick, a few minutes longer.

Stir in the cheeses, Dijon mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese mixture. Pour everything into a 9- x 13-inch (3.5 L) ovenproof casserole or baking dish.

Toss the bread with a splash or two of olive oil, then sprinkle it evenly over the top of the cheese mixture. Bake until it is heated through and the bread topping is [AU: replaced “breadcrumbs are”] golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Cooking Pasta
As pasta cooks it will absorb the salt water and, in turn, be properly seasoned. A pinch or two of salt is not enough! Taste the water; it should remind you of a day at the beach. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente—tender but still quite a bit firm in the centre; it will finish cooking in the sauce. Drain it well, but don’t rinse, or you’ll drain away the surface starch that helps the sauce cling to it.

Comments

  1. Michael said: On Nov 29, 2013

    Just made this. Awesome,
    My new favourite homemade Mac and Cheese.

  2. Iggie said: On Sep 19, 2013

    Tried your recipe tonight…or a variation of it. I had to tweak it a bit concerning the ingredients and used what I had on hand. Used Scoobi Do pasta and whole wheat flour. I didn’t have evaporated milk, dijon mustard and paprika. Even without these ingredients the dish turned out very nice and tasty!

    Thanks for this recipe Michael!

  3. gabrielle said: On Aug 27, 2013

    Can you give me a recipe for cabonara sauce?
    thanks

  4. steve said: On Jun 5, 2013

    well done,this is fantastic!…Hey Mike I am thinking hockey for you too..

  5. Debby said: On Mar 4, 2013

    How much is 1/2 stick of butter?

  6. Jane said: On Feb 23, 2013

    Can you freeze this?

  7. Annie said: On Feb 7, 2013

    Awesome! Only had peach wine, so used chicken broth instead .Turned out great! Also added some grated parmasean ( love to play with recipies)
    Perfect dish to make while we wait for a Nor easter to dump 50 cms of the white stuff..talk about comfort food!

  8. Vicki said: On Jan 25, 2013

    Wow, this is amazing! It is so decadent, and far more flavorful and interesting than my usual homemade mac and cheese. I just followed the recipe as is. You know it’s really not ‘healthy’, but you just want to keep eating it! I may make less sauce next time for the amount of pasta, but truly a delicious dish!

  9. Sean said: On Dec 27, 2012

    Going to try using white wine vinegar in stead of wine… my assumption is that you just need something acidic for it to work… I don’t drink, so we tend not to have alcohol around – and I’m not going to buy wine just for the sake of macaroni and cheese ;)

  10. Line said: On Dec 23, 2012

    Can I substitute the wine?

  11. Wayne said: On Dec 7, 2012

    I fond that 2/3 a cup of flour was too much. I’ll cut way back on that next time.

  12. Beth said: On Oct 28, 2012

    Wow! This was awesome.

  13. Jen said: On Oct 6, 2012

    Made this and added bacon. Yummmmmmm :)

  14. olga said: On Aug 13, 2012

    I work in a dental office & your TV cooking show is what we subject our patients to. I love your show & all the cooking tips. Just tryed your mac & cheese with a splash of wine & dill & threw in some baby tomatos, & topped with parmesan, & its wonderful.
    Thankyou Olga

  15. Bev said: On Jun 3, 2012

    Thanks Michael for a great recipe. My son always told me my Mac n cheese was boring until now!! Love your new cookbook, sooo many recipes to try!

  16. Jean said: On May 23, 2012

    Can I use canola oil instead of the olive?

  17. Ross said: On Jan 22, 2012

    My wife and I tryed the Mac and Chesse tonight. Delicious! We used bow tie macaroni and we used less veloutine than regular flour.The cheese used was old cracker barrel. We also fried up some mushrooms and added them to the cheese sauce. We also left out the bread,but we had garlic bread on the side.

  18. Lise said: On Jan 19, 2012

    CANNOT wait to try this one!

  19. Fan said: On Jan 19, 2012

    Thanks Michael. Looks delicious! Too bad I’m on a restricted carbohydrate diet to control diabetes. I sure miss great food like this.

    P.S. Your editor is showing! ‘[AU: replaced "breadcrumbs are"]‘

  20. 11 pounds of penne is a LOT of pasta *grins* .. might wanna put a dash or … something between the 1′s of 1 box of 1 lb of penne :)

  21. Troy said: On Oct 16, 2011

    Turned out amazing!

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Chef Michael

I’m a FoodTV host, cookbook author and official food ambassador for Prince Edward Island, more importantly I’m a Dad and passionate home cook!

Variation

Try substituting the cheddar with other semisoft cheeses like Swiss, Jack or Emmenthal. Just about any minced fresh herb will add a wonderful aroma to the cheese sauce. I like dill, tarragon or thyme. For an extra special decadent version, stir in the meat from several cooked lobsters.