Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • For the bread crumb topping:
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper

For the pasta:

  • ½ lb. pasta shapes
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • Generous pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ lb. colby jack cheese, grated and one third set aside (do not use pre-shredded)
  • 4  oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (do not use pre-shredded)
  • Ground black pepper

To make the bread crumb topping, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add in the panko and cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are a light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the pasta to the water and cook just until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Drain immediately.

In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in the garlic, dry mustard, and cayenne, cooking just until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the chicken broth and milk and continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat.  Stir in the cheeses, whisking until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir the drained pasta into the cheese sauce. Pour the pasta and cheese mixture into a lightly greased 8 x 8″ baking dish.  Sprinkle with the bread crumb topping and reserved cheese Bake 30-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown.

From Annies Eats

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