Mrs. Kostyra's Mac and Cheese


Martha was fond of her grandmother's unusual mac n' cheese, which included tomato soup and sour cream. In this version, Martha and her mom give it a more traditional spin.


  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for baking dish

  • 3 cups milk

  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 3 cups grated white cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

  • Sour cream, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish; set aside.

  2. Warm the milk and tomato paste in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup Swiss cheese; set the cheese sauce aside.

  3. Cover a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain well in a colander. Stir macaroni into reserved cheese sauce.

  4. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, and dot with butter. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream, if desired.

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