Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baked Mac and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Whole grain dijon mustard adds depth to creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese, the ultimate comfort food. MAKES: 4 to 6 servings, PREP: 15 minutes, COOK: 40 minutes.

1 (8-ounce) package dried elbow macaroni or favorite pasta(about 2 ¼ cups,uncooked)
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
1 (8-ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Toppings (optional):½ cup fresh breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium; gradually whisk in milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in pasta, mustard, and next 4 ingredients, stirring just until cheese begins to melt.
Pour pasta mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano or more Cheddar. If desired, top with fresh breadcrumbs, and drizzle evenly with melted butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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