Macaroni and Cheese
Basic bechamel is made of milk, thickened with flour and butter; add grated cheese to create Mornay sauce -- the key to creamy, crowd-pleasing mac and cheese. This recipe is adapted from the "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" cookbook.
Photography: DAVID M. RUSSELL
Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Episode 102
- 1/2 pound dried elbow macaroni
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup finely grated Italian fontina cheese
- 2/3 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 2/3 cups finely grated extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Pinch of white pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add pasta; salt generously and cook pasta to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.
- Melt butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. 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 (scrape across the bottom and around edge of pot to prevent scorching), until thickened and smooth. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add fontina, Gruyere, Cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, stirring until completely melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, add cayenne and nutmeg, and stir to combine.
- Add pasta to sauce along with white pepper and salt; stir to thoroughly combine. Serve immediately.
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