I decided when I got married I really wanted to get into cooking. I remember thinking I was never going to be good at it. I made homemade mac and cheese and I doubled the noodles on accident. It turned out to be noodles with a hint of cheese! In the last eleven years I have learned a lot and find so much joy and therapy in cooking!
If I have been super busy all I can think of is sitting down to a delicious meal. Lately I find myself waking up thinking of what I am going to eat that day, I guess that means I have been pretty busy as of late. So as an Ode to my cooking failure I will share with you the best homemade mac and cheese recipe ever!
The Barefoot Contessa suggests using elbow or cavatapi noodles, but I used cappelletti pasta because I think they are cute. Any pasta will do, but the ones with hollow areas that can trap the cheese are the best.
While making this mac and cheese it was my first time making homemade bread crumbs. Take slices of bread and cut off the crusts. Put them in your cuisinart and pulse until it is as fine as you would like them.
This is what is looks like going into the oven.
This is what you are getting coming out of the oven. So yummy! I did tomatoes on only half of the pan to appeal to the eaters of all ages in our home.
Mac and Cheese, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
- Kosher salt
- Vegetable oil
- 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
- 1 quart milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
- 8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Posted by Andrea