As the cold, winter Queensbury weather seeps into our pores, the only respite is a bowl of creamy, baked macaroni and cheese. This piping hot dish is loaded with a rich, thick sauce that is a favorite among children and adults alike. The dish is perfect for those long, cold nights or as a holiday side dish. Does this mac and cheese dish sound like something you and your family would love? If so, read below for the full recipe.
The best part about this recipe is that it requires few ingredients, including:
- 1 lb. or dried elbow pasta
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups of half and half
- 4 cups of grated medium sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups of grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 tbsp. of salt
- 1/2 tsp. of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. of paprika
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- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a two-quart baking dish (9-by-13).
- Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta and cook one minute less than what the package directs you to. Drain the water, and drizzle the pasta with a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking.
- Grate the cheeses and toss them together. Then, divide the cheese into three piles. Use three cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cup for the inner layer, and 1 1/2 cup for the topping.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for about one minute. Continue to whisk often. Slowly pour in about two cups of the milk/ half and half. Whisk slowly and constantly. Slowly pour in the rest of the milk/half and half. Slowly whisk until smooth.
- Make sure the sauce becomes thick, much like the consistency of semi-thinned-out condensed soup.
- Remove the heat, stir in the spices, and add 1 1/2 cup of cheese. Stir to combine. Mix in another 1 1/2 cup of cheese and stir until completely melted and smooth.
- Combine drained pasta with cheese sauce in a large mixing bowl. Pour half the pasta mixture into the baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 cup of grated cheese, then top with remaining pasta mixture.
- Sprinkle the top with the last 1 1/2 cup of cheese and bake for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and lightly golden brown.
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