(adapted from Cooking Light)
i know. everyone claims that they have the recipe for the best mac and cheese ever. and here i am claiming just the same. but believe me, this is goooood. if not for his loving and caring wife, my husband would eat stouffers mac and cheese every day for every meal: believe me, he is pretty high maintenance when it comes to mac and cheese. after experimenting a few different times, he finally gave me permission to call it quits at this recipe. i have made these for potlucks and have always received rave reviews. (hopefully they weren’t just being nice!) but my husband has an amazingly great palette, so if he likes it, i figure it must be good.
also, don’t shy away from the mac because it’s a kid food. this is america, after all. just embrace the mac.
2 c. uncooked elbow noodles (actually, I prefer to use medium shells or rotini for the extra crevices that trap the cheese sauce. i also use whole wheat pasta, just to make myself feel better about consuming all that cheese.)
4 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. milk (i’ve made these using 1% and using non-fat, and they both turned out the same)
1/4 c. cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 c. shredded cheese (i use a mixture of somewhere around 1 c. extra sharp cheddar and 1/4 c. parmesan.)
1) cook pasta according to directions on box. (continue with following directions while past is cooking.) drain and return to pot.
2) while pasta cooks: place flour, salt, and pepper in a large sauce pan over medium heat. add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended.
3) drop cream cheese by teaspoonfuls into milk mixture; bring to boil over medium-high heat while continuing to stir constantly with whisk. once starts to boil, immediately reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, or until thick and cream cheese is melted.
4) stir in mustard and worcestershire sauce; simmer for 1 minutes or so. remove from heat.
5) add cheeses, stirring until melted. if it’s too thick, add more milk to thin down, but only a few splashes at a time to avoid putting too much in. as it cools, though, it will thicken up a bit.
5) add to cooked noodles in pot. stir well to combine.
this yields a really creamy pasta, so if you don’t like more sauce than pasta, feel free to add another cup of noodles.
*try experimenting with adding different kinds of cheeses in, like brie or pepperjack. you could probably even substitute gorgonzola and other white cheeses for the cheddar for a completely different dish!
*for another completely different dish, use cubed potatoes instead of noodles!