Homemade Mac & Cheese is really a dinner-time staple around here. I should probably devote a tag just to mac and cheese. I've tried many different recipes- and this is the first stovetop (no baking here) recipe that I've tried. It's really very good! And you don't have to wait that extra time for it to bake. It's super creamy, to boot..... almost too creamy, the first time I made it. I think it was so thick because of the two cans of evaporated milk. I told myself that next time, I'd use evaporated skim milk, or use one can of evap. milk and one can of regular, 1% (non-evap) milk. I went with the latter choice when I made this last night. One can of regular evaporated milk, and then I filled up the milk can with 1% milk from the fridge. It turned out perfect this way- not too thick, and it was delish.
The first time I made this, I did use extra-sharp cheddar, like the recipe calls for. It was delish this way. With the strong flavors of the cheese and Dijon, it might be too strong for some people, but it was perfect for us. This last time, I only had medium cheddar on hand, so I used that, and it was delicious as well.
Use any small pasta shape for this recipe. I've used small shells, in the past. This time, I used Barilla's new adorable mini wagon-wheel shapes. I found these (in a Super Target) during our trip to the U.S. and mailed them back to ourselves. :) I love these little guys- they are so cute, and because of that, taste extra yummy.
This makes a ton- a pound of pasta and a pound of cheese will do that. It fed our fam of five, as a main dish, and there were still a few servings left over. The first time I made this, I cut the recipe in half and it worked out well.
Creamy Stovetop Mac & Cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound elbow, shell or other bite-size shaped pasta
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk (or one can evap. milk; one can regular milk)
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in large soup kettle. Add salt and pasta. Using package directions as a guide, cook until al dente. Drain in a large colander. Stir every so often to prevent sticking.
2. Meanwhile, microwave the milk and chicken broth in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or bowl until hot and steamy (not boiling). Melt butter in the empty pasta pot; whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture. Continue to whisk until thick and bubbly, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in mustard, Parmesan and pepper. Turn off heat, stir in cheddar until melted.
3. Add drained pasta to sauce, and stir until everything is well combined over low heat. Stir to heat through, and thin with a little milk if the sauce is too thick. Serve hot. 6-8 Main-dish servings. Note: Can add in extra things here, like diced ham, cooked chopped broccoli, etc.
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