I've been sick the pass few days and comfort food is all I'm craving. What's more comforting than baked mac and cheese? Not much.
I've been using this recipe for years. It's out of the New Basics Cookbook, one of my first cookbooks. I think I got this when I was 18. It's rich and creamy and the cheese makes a nice crust. Variations are easy; you can to toss in basically anything, I like using broccoli or frozen peas (or crumbled sausage, if you are really looking for a heart attack).
1 lb Penne
4 Cups Milk
4 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
12 oz Gruyere (or cheddar), shredded.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add penne and cook until just tender. Drain and rinse under cool water.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bring milk just to a boil and set aside. Melt butter in heavy saucepan and add flour. Whisk over low heat for 5 minutes. Do not brown.
Add hot milk and 1/2 paprika to flour mixture and mix well. Add salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until thickened. Toss with penne and pour into 13x9x2 buttered pan.
Sprinkle cheese over top and bake 20 to 25 minutes.
Place pan under broiler until top is bubbling and golden, 3-4 minutes.