Spicy Macaroni and Cheese
YIELD: Serves 4
- 1 lb. of your favorite pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups milk (I use skim)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve ⅓ cup of this for topping the macaroni before you bake it)
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, plus ⅛ tsp. for topping
- ¼ tsp. paprika, plus ⅛ tsp. for topping
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package or recipe directions (I use VERY salty water) until it is a few minutes (6 min. are usually good) less than al dente – the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so having very al dente pasta when you put the pasta in to bake will ensure your macaroni isn’t mushy or overcooked!
- In a large saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour to make a roux and cook for 1 minute.
- Whisk the milk into the roux a little at a time, making sure to work out all the clumps so you have a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat until milk has thickened, about 8 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat. Stir in 2 and ⅔ cups of the cheddar cheese with a spoon or spatula. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Stir mustard powder, cayenne, paprika, and black pepper into sauce.
- Stir pasta into sauce. Take a bite. Pat yourself on the back.
- Pour pasta into a baking dish (I used a cast iron skillet). Top with the extra ⅛ tsp. of cayenne and paprika and the extra ⅓ cup of shredded cheddar cheese. (Here is a picture of me failing to take a picture of the cheese-sprinkling in action…ugh)
- Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and edges are crispy.