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Monday, October 11, 2021

Poor Man's Contessa: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I love the food Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame) makes.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

     1 lb elbow or cavatappi (cellantini) pasta
     4 c milk, heated in microwave for 2-3 minutes
     6 tbsp butter, divided
     2 tbsp olive oil
     1/2 c flour
     4 c shredded cheese (mac and cheese blend or a cheddar blend)
     1/4 tsp black pepper
     1/8 tsp nutmeg
     1/3 c bacon, optional
     1 c dry bread crumbs

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain and return to cooking vessel.  While pasta is cooking, melt 4 tbsp butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in flour and whisk until thick.  Gradually whisk in heated milk.  Remove from heat and add black pepper and nutmeg.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pour sauce over cooked pasta.  Add cheese and bacon (if using).  Stir gently till well combined.  Pour into 9 x 13" baking pan.  Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter.  Combine with bread crumbs.  Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over macaroni and cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes. 

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