Have you ever promised a pre-schooler macaroni and cheese for lunch without realizing that you’re out of the boxed stuff? Your whole day may seem completely shot, until some fast Googling and a serendipitous stash of just the right groceries allow you to make the homemade version.
It’s actually pretty easy and is much, much better than the boxed stuff.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.
- 5 1/2 cups milk
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 cups (about 12 oz.) grated sharp white cheddar
- 1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) grated Gruyere or 1 cups (about 4 oz.) grated pecorino Romano
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cheddar, and Gruyere or pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
Once the pot of water comes to a boil, add the macaroni; cook according to directions on the package, until al dente. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.