Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
  1. 2 ounces unsalted butter (one half stick)
  2. 4 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 teaspoon each; dry mustard, white pepper, chile powder, and salt
  4. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  5. 32 ounces whole milk
  6. ½-1 pound cheese of choice, grated (I like to combine cheeses and grate myself; soft cheeses work best)
  7. 1 pound dry pasta
  1. In a large Dutch oven, melt butter and then add flour to make a roux. Allow the roux to cook for 3-4 minutes to cook the flour taste out and for the mixture to darken a bit. Season with dry mustard, white pepper, chile powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add milk in slowly, whisking as you go. Over medium high heat, gently stir the béchamel sauce until it begins to thicken. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once the sauce has thickened, slowly whisk in grated cheese a handful at a time, whisking after each addition so cheese can be completely absorbed (you have now created a Mornay sauce from the béchamel base)
  3. Taste sauce and adjust with spices used earlier (dry mustard, white pepper, and salt)
  4. Turn sauce to simmer and prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and retain the pasta water.
  5. Combine pasta and sauce, at first you may not need all the sauce but as the mixture sits, the pasta will absorb more and more of the sauce. Add more as the sauce gets absorbed to achieve your desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin with pasta water.
  6. Serve with breadcrumbs, bacon bits, sun-dried tomatoes, or any number of accompaniments if desired.
  1. At Ladies Night Out, Kelly used Rigatoni and equal parts Vermont White Cheddar, Baby Swiss, and Monterey Jack.
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