Creamiest Homemade Mac-n-Cheese Ever

Here’s an out-of-the-pantry meal that I can make for excellent husbands who need comfort food, famished children, last-minute guests, and pot lucks.  I always have some type of cheese on hand, a box of pasta, and milk.  The other ingredients are simple.

My new favorite macaroni shape to use is shells; the medium kind.  The tiny little pastas have a pocket that fills up with gooey cheese that oozes out when you bite into them.   Always a big hit!

Shells, also known as conchiglie.

Here’s how to do it:

Add 1 pound of whatever pasta you’d like to salted, boiling water.  Cook till 2 minutes before recommended “done” time.  Drain.

In same, now empty pot, add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, and 1 teaspoon of pepper.  Whisk these up.  Turn on the heat and slowly whisk in 5 cups of milk.  Cook until bubbly and thick.

Turn off heat and add 4 tablespoons of butter and 4  cups of shredded cheese.  I like cheddar &/or American.  When cheese is thoroughly incorporated, add the macaroni back in and cook on low another minute or so.  Stirring constantly.  This lets the macaroni soak up some of that creamy goodness.

Couple of options here.

After letting the dish stand a few minutes to thicken up you can just let folks dig in.  OR, you could pour the macaroni and cheese in a baking dish and top with more shredded cheese or buttered bread crumbs or bacon or whatever you can imagine up!  Then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes to brown the top.

Or you can add things like chopped ham, cooked broccoli, or MORE bacon.  The possibilities are endless!

Ingredient Round Up:

1lb Pasta, 4T cornstarch,  2t salt, 1t dry mustard, 1t pepper, 5c milk, 4T butter, 4c  cheese.