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Mac and cheese recipe from CDI's Taste of Home program

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Mac and cheese recipe

Often when we think of macaroni and cheese, we think of noodles and powder in a box. In just a few extra minutes you can make a homemade version that is delicious and much healthier. The trick? Use real cheese and milk instead of powder! Serve with chopped salad as a meal or as a side.

Ingredients:

1 package elbow, shell, ziti or other short pasta

Cheese sauce

         ¼ cup butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups milk

1 ½ cups grated cheese, like sharp cheddar, Emmental or mozzarella

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Bread crumb topping (optional)

                ½ cup or more store-bought bread crumbs

                ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

                Salt and pepper

                Dried Italian seasoning (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt. Ad the pasta and cook until it’s slightly tender, but not quite done. The pasta will continue to cook when you put it in the oven so you don’t want it to be completely cooked at this point. Drain the pasta using a colander and rinse it quickly with cool water to stop cooking. Put it in a large bowl.

In a medium pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When it is foamy, add the flour and whisk until the mixture turns light brown, about 3-5 minutes.

Add about ¼ cup of milk to the hot flour mixture, whisking the mixture constantly. As soon as the miture becomes smooth, add a little more milk and continue to do so until you’ve added all of the milk and the mixture is thick and smooth. Add both cheeses and continue to stir.

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, and season with salt and pepper. At this point you could eat the mac and cheese as is or you can make it extra special by following the next two steps.

Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish and pour in the pasta and cheese mixture