Macaroni and Cheese
Total Time: 25
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This version of macaroni and cheese is made with lots of extra sharp Vermont cheddar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a crispy topping made from Japanese panko breadcrumbs.
- 7 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 8-ounce package ziti, macaroni, or your favorite pasta
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) extra-sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add panko and stir until coated; set aside.
Cook pasta according to package, stopping 2 minutes shy of suggested cooking time. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking continuously, about 1 minute; don't let mixture brown. Add milk gradually and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, pepper, red-pepper flakes, mustard, and cheeses, whisking until melted.
Add pasta; then spoon mixture into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole or four lightly greased 2-cup baking dishes. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly.