Macaroni and Cheese

Serving Size: 20
Prep Time:
Total Time:

The toasted crumbs on top have a cheesy crispness, and the pasta beneath is creamy and rich. Kids will appreciate the individual servings, but the recipe makes plenty, so why not pour the extra into a baking dish to feed the ravenous parents?

For Topping

  • 0.5 (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 0.5 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 0.25 Pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cup panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
  2. Melt butter, then stir together with panko and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

For Macaroni and Sauce

  • 0.5 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 Pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 cups)
  • 5 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 Pound elbow macaroni
Make sauce:
  1. Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until smooth. Remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper.

Make macaroni:

  1. Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to 2 buttered 2-quart shallow baking dishes.
  2. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cooks’ notes: Topping can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Half of dish can be baked in 10 (6- to 8-ounce) ramekins for children (with remaining half baked in a 2-quart baking dish for adults).

Recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez, Gourmet; photo by Roland Bello.