Sunday, January 2, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe was given to me by a good friend. My children are not big macaroni and cheese lovers but there was something about this recipe that hit the spot. I initially followed the recipe as it was given to me and after I saw how the kids gobbled it all up, I knew that this recipe was a hit. What was not a hit was the fat content. I reduced the butter from 7 tbs to 2. I used 1% milk instead of whole milk. (I do not even keep whole milk in the house) I also reduced the amount of flour used. Finally, for the cheese, I substituted half of it for a lower fat version and kept the other half as it was for texture, consistency and flavor. No one seemed to notice that any changes were made.

So when it's cold and blustery out there and you really want some comfort food, this is a recipe that shouldn't cause your scale to slip!


2 Tbs butter
Scant 1/4 cup of unbleached flour (I could probably try even less next time)
4 cups of 1% milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard (or more to taste)
1 pound macaroni (as you can see we used rotini!)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups grated low fat cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup fresh bread crumbs (Panko or seasoned OK too)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Cook your pasta per directions on the box. When pasta is cooked, al dente, remove from heat, drain thoroughly and return to pot. Set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together the Parmesan and breadcrumbs. 

While pasta is cooking melt butter in a medium sauce pan. When melted add flour. Stir well. This is called a roux. Whisk for about 3 minutes. Then slowly add milk while whisking and bring to a boil. Add mustard, cayenne pepper and some salt and pepper to taste.* Let sauce simmer and stir occasionally until thickened. Add the cheddar cheese and stir well. When all is well blended pour over the pasta and toss well so that all is well coated. 

Transfer to a large, flat baking dish (I usually grease with a non-stick spray) and breadcrumb mixture over the top. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes.

This recipe served a family of 5 with leftovers!

* I find this makes an awful lot of sauce. I never use the full amount.
The extra sauce can be refrigerated and re-used, thinned with low-fat milk. Makes a perfect dip for kids broccoli and cauliflower!


bevy said...

Looks yummy! I linked you in my latest post!!!

Suburban Princess said...

Sounds and looks so yummy! I wish i could eat pasta!