Martha’s Creamy Macaroni-and-Cheese

Who doesn’t love mac-n-cheese?  I’ve made this version four times in the past 3 months, which tells you that 1) it is yummy and 2) it’s not that complicated a recipe.  And 3) maybe that I should stop making it so often…

Believe it or not, the first two times I followed the recipe exactly, other than leaving off the breaded crust that the original calls for. The latter two times, I just messed around with the proportions of cheese.  Tonight’s version is a 3-cheese macaroni.  I had a scant 1/2 cup of mozzarella left from ziti last week, and added that to the pre-shredded mix of monterey jack and cheddar.

Speaking of the original recipe — this is Smitten Kitchen’s version, which was adapted from the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics.  It is a full size 9 x 13 pan’s worth of mac-n-cheese.  Seeing as how I can only fit an 8 x 8 pan into my little oven (to match the little NYC apartment), the halved recipe is below the cut for convenience.  Now I won’t have to do the math every single time.  Whew.

Martha’s Creamy Macaroni-and-Cheese
(the 1/2 version; should serve 4-6)

4 tbsp(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for casserole
2 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp coarse salt, plus more for water
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/4 cups (about 8-9 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Gruyère or 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 lb elbow macaroni

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish; set aside.

2. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue whisking until the mixture bubbles and thickens.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 2 cups cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup of the Gruyère (or 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano); set the cheese sauce aside.

5. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook the macaroni until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone, 2 to 3 minutes.  Rinse macaroni in colander under cold running water, and drain well. Stir the macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cups cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Gruyère (or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano).  Bake until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes (or more depending on your oven). Transfer the dish to a wire rack for 5 minutes; serve.


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] – mac & cheese – sautéed broccolini with […]


  2. […] hasn’t come from a box! I used Martha’s Creamy Macaroni-and-Cheese recipe that Leeetz used here – it was so convenient with all the halved measurements! The only thing I did differently was […]


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