New This Month

Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

If you like, use just one type of cheddar or mix with another melting cheese, such as pepper Jack, Muenster, Swiss, or mozzarella.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 8 ounces ham, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain and reserve. Meanwhile, in a 5-quart heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour to coat onion. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps.

  2. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if using, and 1 cup each yellow and white cheddar cheese. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  3. Toss pasta with cheese mixture; fold in ham. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or individual dishes. Set aside.

  4. In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form. Toss together with remaining 1/4 cup each white and yellow cheddar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture. Bake until top is golden, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes

This recipe makes enough to fill eight 12-to-16-ounce baking dishes. Divide the macaroni and cheese evenly, sprinkle with topping, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

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