2cupsshredded cheddar cheeseor use our favorite cheese
¼cupcream cheeseoptional; I love it but it's not to everybody's taste
Add the macaroni, milk, broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper to a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until the pasta is cooked, stirring often to keep it from burning (about 8-10 minutes).
Once the macaroni are done, switch off the heat and stir in the cheese, the butter and the mustard. If you feel that the mac and cheese is too dry, add up to one more cup of milk to reach your desired creaminess! I always stir in ¼ cup of cream cheese as well, but not everybody likes it, so this is entirely optional.
Serve immediately (or the pasta will soak up all the good sauce and turn into a mushy mess!).
Macaroni: This recipe works with any small pasta shape - elbow macaroni, ziti, small shells... Whatever you have on hand!
Milk: We use 2% milk, but whole milk is even richer. Evaporated milk works as well if you don't have any fresh on hand, and makes a richer sauce.
Cheese: I like using shredded cheddar or a cheddar blend in this recipe. Any sharp, flavourful cheese that melts well can be used. I would not recommend using mozzarella, because that gets very stringy. It's also best to shred your own cheddar, as the additives in pre-shredded cheese can make the Mac and cheese grainy. But I definitely do not always follow my own advice here, because pre-shredded cheese is pretty amazing when you don't have much time to make dinner!
Whenever I'm feeling seriously lazy, I just throw some frozen veggies right into the mac and cheese! So easy, and a great way to get the kids to eat their greens.
You do have to stir the mac and cheese regularly as it simmers, otherwise it burns on the bottom.
You really need to add milk as needed after stirring in the cheese, otherwise you may not have enough sauce. The liquid requirements greatly depend on the exact pasta shape you're using, so I prefer to give n average amount for the cooking part and then letting you adjust once the pasta is cooked.
My recipe makes a large pot of Mac and cheese to feed a hungry family. You can easily cut the recipe in half!
This really needs to be eaten immediately after cooking, otherwise the pasta starts soaking up to much of the sauce.
Tips for leftovers
If you have leftovers, pack them into a casserole dish and store in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 360°F for around 20 minutes or until piping hot and bubbly. Feel free to sprinkle a little cheese or breadcrumbs on top before baking, or stir in some broccoli or peas!