This is my all time number one comfort food. I remember my mother making this at least two or three times per month and it graced every holiday meal. It really goes together in minutes, the most time consuming thing is waiting for the water to boil. Besides being more economical and delicious, it beats a tray of store-bought frozen mac and cheese in another way. This is prepared on the stove top thus freeing up your oven–crucial if you’re cooking a large meal. Now, if you’re a fan of a buttery breadcrumb topping, you are more than welcomed to throw it in the oven for a few minutes. It will only add to the scrumptious appeal. This really is the best macaroni and cheese.
Mom and two-year old me (and her sister) in the kitchen where the magic happened.
1 pound elbow macaroni, prepared according to package directions
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk of your choice, even almond milk works
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups shredded cheese ( I mix sharp cheddar and colby jack.)
2 slices of American cheese or Velveeta to add creaminess
3/4 cup ricotta, OPTIONAL, but makes it richer and creamier
2 eggs beaten, or may substitute egg beaters
Melt butter over medium low heat. (I usually do this in the pot in which I cooked the pasta as the macaroni drains in the colander.)
Whisk in milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
Stir in cheese until melted.
Remove from heat.
Stir about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into your bowl with the beaten eggs to temper them (prevent them from becoming scrambled eggs).
Return pot to the medium low heat and stir in the egg mixture.
Heat for a couple of minutes while stirring.
Remove from heat and fold in your macaroni.
Serve immediately or . . .
Pour macaroni and cheese into a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Cover top with fine bread crumbs.
Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup grated cheese ( I often use cheddar or even Parmesan.)
Dot with about 2 tablespoons cold butter, chopped.
Place in 375 degree oven for a few minutes just until lightly browned and melted.
You can, of course, make this ahead of time and refrigerate. To reheat, splash about 1/4 cup milk over the macaroni and cheese and microwave one minute at a time until heated through. Stir several times during the heating.