Nothing impresses kids like Mac and Cheese made from scratch but they can be quick to snub their nose at anything less than sensational. There are no attempts at lowering the fat of this recipe-it is creamy, cheesy and hearty. Great served with grilled bratwurst and roasted zuccini. A special treat!
9×13” baking dish or equivalent casserole
1 lb penne pasta- big is OK
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
8 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
10 oz cheddar cheese, cubed
10 oz Emmental or Swiss cheese, cubed
5 oz Monteray Jack cheese, cubed
(cheese mixtures can be adjusted, amounts are approximate. Guyere is awesome if you are feeling decadent)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degees. Grease the pan- sprays work the best.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al-dente (8-10 min). Drain.
3. In a medium, heavy saucepan melt the butter and stir in flour to make a roux. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to make a white sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer. Add salt, pepper, and Tabasco and stir until the sauce thickens, 4-5 more minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat and stir in cheeses. Combine pasta with sauce and stir well. Cheeses don’t have to be totally melted. Pour into a baking dish. Decorate with paprika if you wish.
5. Bake 45-60 minutes or until the top is the desired crispiness. Let rest 15 minutes before serving. Watch it disappear.