Easy homemade macaroni n' cheese is a favorite comfort food!
1 lb. elbow maraconi
5 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional-see note)
5 cups milk
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. table salt
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tbsp. salt. Cook until pasta is tender, about 1 minute past the al dente stage. Drain pasta and set aside.
In an empty sauce pan, heat butter over medium heat until foaming. Add flour, pepper, and cayenne (if using) and whisk until well combined. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deep in color, about 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in milk and then bring mixture a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened (to consistency of heavy cream), about 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Stir in both salt and cheeses and a handful at a time the cheese is melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat until pasta is heated through. Serve warm.
Cayenne pepper- this gives it a tiny kick and adds a more grown-up flavor. Feel free to omit if kids want a more traditional mac n'cheese.