Rebecca Beyer Winik
Mac and Cheese
- Serves: 6
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 8 tablespoon Unsalted or Lightly Salted Butter, divided
- 0.5 cup Flour
- 1 pound Pasta
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1.5 pound Cheddar cheese
- 1 quart Whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (half if using salted butter)
- 0.5 teaspoon Black pepper, freshly ground
- 0.5 teaspoon Nutmeg
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1.5 cup Fresh bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare the breadcrumbs. Cut the crusts off about 6 slices of bread. Tear up and pulse in food processor until chunky. You don't want them too finely chopped, but you don't want really large pieces either.
- Shred the cheese.
- Set water to boil. Drop about 1 tbsp of oil into the water. Cook the pasta according to package directions, about 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, while waiting for water to come to a boil, heat the milk in a small saucepan. Do not boil it. Melt 6 tbsp butter in a large pot on low heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously for 2 minutes. While whisking, add the hot milk and continue whisking for another 1-2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and add all but about 1/3 cup of the cheese, salt ( 1/2 TBSP if using salted butter), pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Stir until cheese melts and spices are incorporated. Add the cooked pasta and stir well. Pour into a 3 quart baking dish. Cover with the remaining cheese.
- Melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and combine with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the pasta.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is bubbly and breadcrumbs are golden brown.