Meaghan's Famous Mac-n-Cheese
- 1 pound pasta (a heavy shape with nice nooks and crannies to hold the VERY THICK sauce!)
-1/2 cup butter (BUTTER! not margarine! nomz!!!!!)
-1/2 cup flour
- 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
-4 1/2 cups milk
-1 pound grated cheese (I tend to use the pre-grated ones from costco... half the cheddar/jack mix and half the mozzarrella. I've made it all white before, all cheddar other times. honestly, you can't screw it up. cheese is just good.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a 9X13" Pyrex
Cook and drain pasta according to directions. once drained, stir in a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking...unless your sauce is ready and you can just mix that in immediately.
While pasta cooks, melt butter (in a BIG pot!) and then remove pan from heat. Stir in flour and seasonings until smooth. Put back on heat. Stir milk in gradually. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly (honestly...CONSTANTLY!). It will take a while to bring to a boil too! making a good roux (which is what this is), is akin to beating egg whites, as far as forearm development! and do follow the steps above exactly or you will have lumps!
Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups of the cheese and all the noodles (see why the BIG POT!). If you're going to add ham or bacon or something equally yummy, do so now. Pour into the pyrex. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
***at this point you can refrigerate for days!***
Bake 15-25 minutes are until brown and bubbly. If cooking from refrigerated, bring to room temperature to retain cooking time stated. If popping straight into the oven from the fridge, then of course it's going to take much longer to cook! In that case, cover with foil for the first half hour or so, then remove for last ten or fifteen minutes. that way your cheese won't burn!