Recipe 16.4: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Ina Garten
Who doesn’t crave a creamy bowl of macaroni and cheese from time to time? I know that this is an ultimate comfort-food item for me and there is nothing better than enjoying it hot and melty when it is cold and windy outside. I like to make a double batch of this dish whenever I make it; it adds no extra work and gives you many more meals to either freeze or enjoy for lunches in the upcoming week.
4 slices of bacon
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
4 oz. swiss cheese
3 oz. sharp cheddar
2 oz. crumbled bleu cheese
1/2 loaf of bread
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 package whole wheat shells
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the bacon on a foil-lined cooking sheet, then bake for 15-20 minutes, until bacon is crisp. Drain bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, then crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
While bacon cooks, boil pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook according to directions on package, but cook for 2-3 minutes less than recommended. Once cooked, drain well.
While pasta and bacon cook, prepare bread crumbs by breaking the loaf into small chunks and placing an a food processor, along with the garlic. Pulse until you have crumbs. Set aside.
While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat, then add the swiss, cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well.
Pour into glass baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and macaroni is browned on top.