stovetop macaroni and cheese
If possible, leave the grated cheese out at room temperature for a couple of hours before making this dish, as it makes it easier to melt into the cheese sauce. If you like a thinner cheese sauce for your macaroni, you can add up to an additional ¼ cup of milk to the recipe. The optional white wine can help prevent the sauce from clumping, though I’ve made successful batches without it.
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces cheddar, grated
- 8 ounces Monterey, grated
- 1 ½ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound dry pasta such as elbow macaroni or shells
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente and drain, setting the pot aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk together. Cook the mixture over medium heat for three minutes, whisking every now and then to prevent sticking.
Add milk to the saucepan ¼ cup at a time, whisking each time until no clumps remain. Add white wine and salt and cook for two minutes. Begin adding small handfuls of cheese (about ¼ cup) to the sauce, whisking lightly after each addition. Avoid whisking vigorously. Continue adding small handfuls of cheese to the sauce every minute, whisking lightly after each addition and occasionally scraping the bottom of the pan, until all the cheese has been added. Continue cooking, whisking lightly every now and then, until all the cheese is melted. Reduce heat to low.
Return drained pasta to the large pot. Whisk the cheese sauce once more and pour over the pasta, tossing the pasta in the sauce until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.