The recipe is originally from Martha Stewart, but I got the recipe from the lady at Smitten Kitchen. I made this for some of my friends after a long day of skiing. It was a blast but we were ready for some warm food. Oh and do you notice some of the green in the macncheese picture? It's because I sent Nick to get the supplies. I asked for macaroni and he came back with 3 different types of pasta--none of them was macaroni. I chose the mixed pasta wheels (hence the green) instead of the egg noodles or farfalle. He tried.
Nick and I are getting ready to leave tomorrow (not really, I spent the day reading and baking cakes) so we'll be as unprepared as we usually are! My mom still can't get over the fact that we're only bringing carry-ons with us for 4 months. She keeps trying to sneak more stuff into my Vera Bradley. Oh well, tomorrow we fly to LA for a couple days.
The recipe serves lots of people!
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
5 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (I like spicy food)
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded Gruyere (we even used the creamy version and it worked)
1 lb macaroni or any other pasta, really
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. You could also just use 2 smaller casserole dishes.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it bubbles. Whisk in the flour gradually. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour in the milk gradually. Whisk constantly so the mixture stays smooth until the milk comes to a slight simmer and begins to thicken. This will take about 15 minutes. Just be patient or make your sisters do it like I did.
While this is happening bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil the pasta for 3 minutes. Strain the pasta, then pour into greased baking pan.
Take saucepan off heat. Add the spices, salt, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently to mix together.
Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta and mix to distribute the cheese mixture evenly. Sprinkle with the rest of the shredded cheeses (add some breadcrumbs and extra butter on top if desired) and bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown.