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. (Alternatively, you can use pre-made breadcrumbs.)
- 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.