Sunday, May 12, 2024

Bittman's Baked Macaroni and Cheese

For the past few weeks I've been steadily working on shopping my pantry and using everything up. Today I'm using up some pasta and a loaf of bread to make Mark Bittman's Baked Macaroni and Cheese. 

I always buy way too many boxes of pasta and they quickly take over my pantry if I'm not careful. I also had half a loaf of rosemary garlic bread so I decided to make baked macaroni and cheese with a fresh rosemary garlic breadcrumb topping. It was a hit!

Mark Bittman calls for sharp cheddar and Parmesan, which are some of my favorite cheeses to use for baked macaroni and cheese. We enjoyed this dish today for our Mother's Day dinner. The sauce was very creamy and the flavors were on point.

The rosemary garlic breadcrumb topping added some good texture and flavor. I would definitely make this Baked Macaroni and Cheese again. It's a real go to recipe!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Adapted from How To Cook Everything

 by Mark Bittman

Serves 4-6

2-1/2 cups milk

2 bay leaves

1 pound elbow pasta

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1-1/2 cups grated cheese, such as sharp Cheddar or Emmenthal

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt and black pepper

1/2 cup or more plain breadcrumbs, preferably fresh

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cook the milk with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand. Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta to the point where it still needs another minute or two to become tender. Drain it, rinse it quickly to stop cooking, and place it in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; when it is foamy, add the flour and cook, stirring, until the mixture browns, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the milk and add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the hot flour mixture, stirring with a wire whisk all the while. As soon as the mixture becomes smooth, add a little more milk, and continue to do so until all th emilk is used up and the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the Cheddar and Emmenthal and stir. 

Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss in the Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Use the remaining butter to grease a 9 x 13-inch or like-sized baking pan and turn the noodle mixture into it. Top liberally with bread crumbs and bake until the crumbs turn brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot. 


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