Macaroni and Three Cheeses
This luxurious macaroni and cheese keeps unbaked in the refrigerator for up to a day; in the oven, it turns piping hot and creamy inside, and golden brown on top in less than an hour. Substitute your favorite melting cheeses (mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and fontina are great options), or vary the proportions of the ones listed here.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 8
Photography: John Kernick
Source: Everyday Food, September 2007
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound medium pasta shells
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 4 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
- 4 ounces Havarti cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
- 4 ounces Muenster cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 6 slices white sandwich bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking dish (oval or 9-by-13-inch rectangle); set aside.
Generously salt boiling water; add pasta. Cook, according to package instructions, until 2 minutes short of al dente. Drain pasta, and return to pot.
While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a small bowl; set aside for topping. Add flour and mustard powder to remaining butter in saucepan. Cook, whisking, 1 minute (do not let flour darken). Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat. Gradually whisk in cheeses; add Worcestershire sauce, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add sauce to pasta, and toss to combine; transfer to prepared baking dish.
Place bread in food processor; pulse until very coarse crumbs form (you should have about 3 cups). Add reserved melted butter, and pulse just to moisten. Scatter crumbs over pasta in baking dish. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. (If refrigerated, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.) Cool 5 minutes before serving.