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A dish with a complex history, macaroni and cheese has has become a classic if not the quintessential American food to grace dinner tables since the Colonial era.

Macaroni & Cheese

The earliest known recorded recipe for Mac and Cheese was scribbled down in 1769. The dish made its way to the United States when Thomas Jefferson introduced it at a State dinner after his visit to France. He was so enamored by what is now known as America’s comfort food, he brought back noodle recipes and a pasta maker. 

When America was in the throes of the Great Depression, Kraft Foods introduced a boxed macaroni and cheese that could feed 4 people for 19 cents. Even after WWII and the end of rationing, it still gained popularity.

Today, macaroni and cheese remains one of the most beloved comfort foods of all time.

RECIPE: Dreamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • Prep Time:  20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-40 Minutes
  • Yield:  2 quart baking dish
  • Difficulty Level:  Easy/Intermediate

Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate universal comfort food. No matter how old you are, macaroni and cheese fills your belly and soothes your soul.

Ingredients

8 ounces ziti, or other medium, tubular pasta, cooked

3 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, diced

1 tablespoon ground mustard powder

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups 1% milk, room temperature

½ teaspoon salt

Generous grinding of black pepper

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) grated fontina cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 slices (2 ounces total) Canadian bacon, diced

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives, or 1 teaspoon dried chives

¾ cup crushed cheese crackers

Instructions

1) Prepare pasta according to manufacturer instructions.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3) Lightly coat the inside of a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray, or the insides of six 1 ½ – cup baking dishes

4) In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.

5) Stir in the onions and sauté until translucent. Stir in the mustard powder and flour until well blended, creating a roux to thicken your sauce.

6) Gradually pour in the milk, bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes, using a whisk if there are lumps

7) Season with salt and pepper. Blend in the fontina, cheddar, Parmesan cheese, Canadian bacon and chives. Stir until smooth and hot.

8) Remove from heat. Fold in the ziti or pasta of choice.

9) Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with crushed cheese crackers.

10) Bake 30-40 minutes for a large casserole, 25-30 minutes for individual dishes, until very hot and beginning to brown on the edges. Serve hot.

Serves 6

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Nothing says Home like the smell of baking

Acknowledgement:  Home Baking Association
Cottage Core Home would like to thank and acknowledge The Home Baking Association (HBA) for being a valuable resource who supports home baking