Macaroni and Cheese
Dress up a basic bowl of macaroni and cheese with a variety of mix-in options for a hearty wintertime meal.
The Martha Stewart Show, January 2012
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces dried elbow pasta
- 2 cups dried bread crumbs or panko
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons melted, plus more for baking dishes
- 1 pound assorted cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, cheddar, Gruyere, mozzarella, fontina, or Monterey Jack, finely grated
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix-in of choice (optional; see below)
Broccoli and Caramelized Onions
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, julienned and cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil until caramelized, about 25 minutes
Tuna with Capers and Olives
- 2 (5-ounce) cans water-packed albacore tuna, drained
- 1/3 cup capers, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup chopped pitted green olives
Peas and Ham
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas
- 3/4 pound coarsely chopped cooked ham
Spinach and Feta
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, squeezed dry
- 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously salt and add pasta. Cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together bread crumbs and 4 tablespoons melted butter; toss to coat. In a second large bowl, mix together cheeses. Transfer 1 cup cheese to bowl with bread crumb mixture and toss to combine; set aside.
- Butter eight 6-ounce shallow baking dishes or one 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish.
- Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until bubbling but not browning, about 45 seconds. Add milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add remaining cheese, stirring until completely melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper, add dried mustard and cayenne, and stir to combine.
- Add pasta to sauce and stir to thoroughly combine. Fold in one of the mix-ins, if desired. Pour into prepared baking dishes and sprinkle evenly with the bread crumb mixture.
- Place dishes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until bubbling and cheese is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
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