Every good southerner, or really just person in general, needs a great mac and cheese recipe in their back pocket. Today I bring you my new favorite - stove top mac and cheese!
I've been making this recipe for years and tweaking it here and there. In the past, i've usually baked the macaroni with breadcrumbs on top. I still love the baked counterpart, but this stove top version is the creamiest, richest mac you'll find.
Once you understand the method and standard ingredients, the possibilities are endless. You could always experiment with different cheeses, fold in some crispy bacon, add broccoli or tomatoes, really anything!
*1 lb. cavatappi or macaroni
* 4 tbsp. butter
*4 tbsp. flour
*2 c. whole milk
*1/2 c. half and half
*1 tbsp. dijon mustard
*1/4 tsp. nutmeg
*1/4 tsp. paprika
*8 oz. extra sharp cheddar, freshly grated
*4 oz. gruyere, freshly grated
*dash of hot sauce (optional)
Prepare the pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes until the butter and flour are well combined and lightly browned (you want to cook out the raw flour taste).
Add the milk and cream and heat until small bubbles form around the edge and the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in dijon mustard, nutmeat, paprika, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Remove from heat and whisk in the cheddar and gruyere. Stir in pasta and serve immediately.
*I made this an hour or so ahead and reheated it over medium low heat with a touch more cream to smooth out the sauce.