Ruth Reichl's Recipe for Macaroni and Cheese

Gourmet Cookbook, Ruth Reichl

Monday, July 16, 2007


¼ stick (two tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs) 1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 4 ounces)


3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 ¾ cups whole milk ¾ cups heavy cream 4 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 1 pound) 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 ½ teaspoons salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¾ pound elbow macaroni Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart shallow baking dish.

MAKE THE TOPPING: Stir together butter, panko, and cheese in a bowl until well combined.

MAKE THE SAUCE: Melt butter in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat. Whisk in flour and red pepper flakes and cook, whisking, for 3 minutes to make a roux. Whisk in milk in a slow stream, then bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in cream, Cheddar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Remove pot from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming.

COOK THE MACARONI AND ASSEMBLE THE DISH: Cook macaroni in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt per every 4 quarts of water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain macaroni.

Stir together macaroni, reserved cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl, the transfer to baking dish (mixture will be loose).

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni. Bake until top is golden and bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes.

COOK’S NOTE: The topping can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.


More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.



Supported by