A great 4th of July cookout starts with great food! This macaroni & cheese dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Not only is it delicious, it’s quick and easy. This recipe will serve ten people as a side dish, if you are cooking for more simply double or even triple the ingredients, the dish will turn out just as good as the original recipe. Enjoy and happy 4th of July!
1 box pasta noodles (I used cellentani)
3 tbs unsalted butter
3 tbs flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tbs melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with a oil butter or non-stick spray. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente (soft but not overcooked), drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Make a béchamel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in heavy bottom sauce pot over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let it brown. Add the milk and increase the heat slightly, continuing to whisk until the sauce thickens. Once the béchamel has thickened to a gravy like consistency remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese.
Pour the cheesy béchamel sauce over the pasta and stir gently until the pasta is entirely coated. Transfer cheesy pasta to the baking dish and top with rest of the cheese. Mix panko breadcrumbs with melted butter and top the pasta evenly with panko.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes to lightly brown the top. Let the dish set at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!