This is my mother’s macaroni and cheese and it’s my favorite. When I was a kid, I used to eat four or five helpings at one sitting! It doesn’t use the tradtional bechamel-type cheese sauce, and so is easier to make and slightly less rich. Serve with a tangy green salad.
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- Total: 90 minutes
- Active: 30 minutes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped
- 12 ounces medium shell pasta
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (preferably Vermont), grated
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
- 2 cups lowfat milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup coarse breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Saute chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of the butter until soft and pale golden. Melt remaining butter and set aside.
- Heat several quarts of water to boiling. Boil pasta shells, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Don’t overcook, as they will cook further in the oven. Drain.
- In a large bowl, mix shells well with remaining ingredients except breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Grease a baking dish big enough to hold it all and add pasta/cheese mixture, spreading out evenly. Top with breadcrumbs, sprinkle with melted butter, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly and top is brown. (Cooking time will depend on size of baking dish.)