baked macaroni and cheese

March 11, 2009 |  Category:   recipes savory

macandcheese.jpg

Macaroni and cheese, while quite popular with the kids, is nevertheless kind of a last-minute dinner for me to make when I’m either out of ideas or short on time. On these occasions I make a stove-top version that ends up being a bit like the kind from a box – tasty, but it sometimes feels like cheating. It had been a while since I made a baked version, but it’s more substantial than my stove-top version and I definitely feel better about serving it to the family as “dinner”, especially paired with some steamed vegetables. I did, however, make the mistake of using Jarlsberg cheese this time which is very similar in flavor to Swiss cheese, a cheese that M really doesn’t care for (unless it is on a Cuban sandwich). Fortunately any other good melting cheese will do.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese (makes a deep 9×13-inch pan)

1 pound macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
15 ounces ricotta cheese
10 ounces grated cheese (cheddar, jack, swiss, or any other good melting cheese will do)
Salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the macaroni according to the package’s instructions. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. When melted and bubbling, whisk in the flour. Stir and cook for one minute. Whisk in the milk just a little bit at a time, waiting until the previous addition has been incorporated before adding more. When all the milk has been added, cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it has noticeably thickened. Remove from the heat. When the macaroni has finished cooking, drain it and then add it to the white sauce. Stir well, then stir in the ricotta and half of the grated cheese. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour into a buttered 9×13-inch pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top, then put it into the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until hot and bubbling. If you like a crisp top, cook it under the broiler for several minutes. Serve immediately.

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  • Gabriel March 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    i just gained 10 pounds reading that recipe. yum.

  • cyndi March 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve been looking for a good mac + cheese recipe for months now. I can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing…

  • Sarah March 11, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Mmmm yes top crispy please. I love baked mac n cheese. This looks yummy.

  • Stacy March 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    ricotta…very interesting…

  • Brenda March 11, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Mmmmm, homebaked macaroni and cheese … Thanks Mark!

  • reka March 12, 2009 at 6:28 am

    Hello,

    It seems that spring is for tagging. I was tagged by Knick knack blog and I would like to tag you as I really like your blog and all the fantastic receipts! Greetings from Finland! Reka

  • Tumus March 12, 2009 at 7:07 am

    LOL you know i just made a big batch of mac and cheese and was trying to figure out how to use the rest of it. How ironic ^_^

  • Pam March 12, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Ooooo…thanks so much for this! My daughter is very picky about her mac and cheese for some reason. I’ve tried at least 3 different recipes and went through the varieties of the Annie’s Homegrown, but the only one she’ll scarf down is the Trader Joe’s baked version. I’m going to give this one a go.

  • nichole March 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Seriously must have mac and cheese now! Looks amazing! My recipe is similar, but does not include ricotta. Must try yours.

  • Jenna March 12, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Stacy, Nichole, I didn’t know mark put ricotta in the mac and cheese. I think I personally could do with less ricotta in the recipe. Uh, sorry Mark.

  • Stella March 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

    OH MY GOODNESS, thank you for this recipe! We were just talking at work how we need to make some good baked mac and cheese! =D

  • Daniela May 2, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Loved it! Thanks for the recipe. Very easy and delicious. Macaroni and cheese is not usual food where I come from (Slovakia) so I always wanted to try it!

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