Macaroni and Cheese

February 18, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10
Author Notes

I started making this about 6 or 7 years a go from a recipe my mom had given me. It has been tweaked over the years and I have recently just perfected it. I ALWAYS get requests for this when someone is having a birthday, cookout, football party, you name it! It truly is a must have in your recipe box :) —jenbonoma

What You'll Need
  • 1 Stick of butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour (white or wheat)
  • 4 cups milk reduced fat 2 % (or whole if you like it super creamy)
  • 8 ounces package of cabot pepperjack cheese cubed
  • 8 ounces package of cabot sharp white cheddar cheese (extra sharp)
  • 8 ounces boars head smoked gouda cheese sliced
  • 1/4 pound creamy boarshead havarti cheese
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs (enough to cover the top of the baking dish)
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon each of salt and pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta cooked very al dente
  1. Make a roux: Put about two cups of water in a small cooking pot. Place a frying pan on top of the pot and put the stick of butter in the frying pan. Turn the burner on to a high temp. Once the water starts to boil, the hot steam will melt your butter. I use this method because it prevents the butter from burning which is an easy thing to do. Once the butter is fully melted start adding the flour, 2 tbspns at a time. Each time you add the flour mix it in well with a whisk so that no lumps remain.
  2. Once all of the flour has been mixed and you have a nice paste like consistency, transfer the mixture to a larger pot at medium heat and add the milk a cup at a time while whisking so that the flour does not clump up. Once all the milk has been added, start adding your cheese. Stir mixture until all of the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper (however much of each that your prefer).
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni for about 5 minutes (you don't want it to be fully cooked because it will be put in the oven once its mixed with the cheese). Drain pasta and add it to the pot of cheese. Stir so that all the pasta is mixed well with the cheese sauce. Pour pasta and cheese mixture into a large rectangle pyrex dish. Take breadcrumbs and evenly sprinkle them over the top of the mac. You want the macaroni to be covered but you don't want to overpower it with too many crumbs. Sprinkle the shredded parmesan cheese over the top of the breadcrumbs. Heat the oven to 350° and cook for 30 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes and enjoy!! ? The key to the shredded parmesan cheese is to have it crispy so I usually broil it in the oven for a few minutes after its done so that the shredded cheese is a nice light brown ?

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • WileyP
  • Mary Harris
    Mary Harris
  • Peggy
  • jenbonoma

4 Reviews

Mary H. November 26, 2019
Do you ever make ahead (sans breadcrumbs of course)?
Peggy June 1, 2015
I made this last night using equal parts of 3 cheeses, sharp cheddar, pepper jack and smoked gouda (I don't care for havarti) and it was deliciously creamy using whole milk. I made a béchamel sauce the traditional way w/o the extra simmering pan under the fry pan.(see directions). I will make this again. Thanks Jenbonoma!
WileyP February 18, 2013
I like the sound of this combination of cheeses. Am heading fo rthe big city tomorrow and will stock up on them so I can make this one! Thanks for the recipe, jenbonoma! PS: That baking dish looks larger that 9"x13"x2". Is it?
jenbonoma February 18, 2013
I believe it's a 9x13 pyrex, the picture angle may make it look bigger. Let me know how you like it, you def won't be disappointed!