Family Favorite Baked Mac and Cheese


INGREDIENTS
1 lb. dried elbow pasta
1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups half and half
4 cups grated medium sharp cheddar cheese divided
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese divided
1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 3 qt baking dish (9x13").  Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  When boiling, add dried pasta and cook 1 minute less than the package directs for al dente.  Drain and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep from sticking.
  3. While water is coming up to a boil, grate cheeses and divide into three sections.  Approximately 3 cups for the sauce, 1 1/2 cups for the layer, and 1 1/2 cups for the topping.
  4. Melt butter in a large saucepan over MED heat.  Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine.  Mixture will look like very wet sand.  Cook for approximately 1 minute, whisking often.  Slowly pour in about 2 cups or so of the milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until smooth.  Slowly pour in the remaining milk/half and half, while whisking constantly, until combined and smooth.
  5. Continue to heat over MED heat, whisking very often, until thickened to a very thick consistency.  It should almost be the consistency of a semi thinned out condensed soup.
  6. Stir in spices and half the reserved cheese sauce grated cheese, stirring to melt and combine.  Stir in remaining cheese sauce grated cheese, and stir until completely melted and smooth.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine drained pasta with cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully.  Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Top with reserved layer grated cheese, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the topping grated cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until cheesy is bubbly and lightly golden brown.  


Original Recipes visit: Family Favorite Baked Mac and Cheese @ thechunkychef.com

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