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Dreamy Two-Part Mac and Cheese

Hands on time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 6 servings

macaroni and cheese by Paul Lillakas


  • Butter-toasted Breadcrumbs:
  • 1 cup coarse/panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • Cheddar Bechamel Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 litre of milk, warmed
  • 2 tsp Dijon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (340 grams) aged cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 500 g Cavatappi, Macaroni or Penne, cooked


Butter-toasted Breadcrumbs:

In large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs, garlic powder and sage and toast, stirring, until golden brown. Transfer to sheet pan to cool.

Cheddar Bechamel Sauce:

Meanwhile, in large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook, whisking continuously, until thick paste forms. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Add Dijon and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add cheese, one cup at a time, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Taste and add salt, if needed.

Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce and mix until combined. Transfer to serving dish; top with breadcrumbs.

Switch-it-up Seafood Mac and Cheese: Use only 3 cups of milk and stir in 450g cleaned bay scallops and 450 g raw shrimp just after thickening sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until seafood is cooked through, and sauce has thinned, about 4-5 minutes. (The liquid from the scallops and shrimp will thin the sauce). Continue to add cheese and complete recipe as usual.

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