4 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus extra for buttering casserole)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk, heated
4 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a
boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until
al dente. Drain well.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and
preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a deep
4 quart casserole. Melt the butter in a medium
saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour.
Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer,
stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the
cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and
Spread one third of the penne over the bottom
of the casserole dish. Top with half of the
shredded cheese and a third of the sauce.
Repeat, using another third of the pasta with
the remaining cheese and half the sauce. Finish
with the remaining pasta and sauce. Sprinkle
Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake until bubbly
and golden brown over the edges, about 30
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