Easy Whole Wheat Mac n’ Cheese Serves 8 as an Entrée or Serves 16 as a Side
Note: Use any combination of your favorite cheeses including mild to sharp cheddar, Jarlsberg, Smoked Gouda, Gruyere or Parmesan. Ingredients: 2½ cups milk, heated to a very low simmer (I used 1%) – stock 1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni – $1.69 5 Tablespoons sweet butter, divided: 3 +1 + 1 – stock 3 Tablespoons flour – stock 1 teaspoon dried mustard – stock 1 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese – $2.29 1 cup grated cheddar cheese – $1.25 salt and pepper to taste – stock ¾ cup fresh, unseasoned breadcrumbs – stock Grand Total Assuming Well–Stocked Pantry: $5.23 Total Per 8 Entrée Servings: $0.65 Total Per 16 Side Servings: $0.33 Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch lasagna pan with 1 Tablespoon of the soft butter. 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 3. Meanwhile, warm the milk to a “quiet simmer”, in a small saucepan over medium-low flame. Be careful not to scorch the milk. 4. Cook the pasta until just al dente. It will finish cooking in the oven. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately in cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. 5. Prepare the white sauce. Using a medium saucepan, melt 3 Tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over medium-low flame, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Whisk in the dried mustard. 6. Very gradually, add the warmed milk, whisking constantly until smooth. The sauce should thicken a bit. 7. Remove from the flame and add the cheeses, stirring well to combine thoroughly. 8. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooled pasta, season with salt and pepper, stirring well to combine. 9. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole/lasagna pan. 10. Using your fingers, mix the final pat of butter with the fresh breadcrumbs. 11. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the Mac ‘n Cheese. 12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden. Garnish with a bit more grated cheese of your choice, if desired.