I didn’t grow up with this recipe, but when I first tried I felt like I came back to my childhood. Now it is one of my favorite meal when I want something unhealthy and of course cheesy.
Let’s start with pasta you don’t want to cook it all the way since you will be baking a bit in the oven and also finish cooking there. Actually, you can use any pasta shape you would like. I usually cook with the classic elbow shape pasta.
- 8 ounce (300 g ) dried elbow pasta
- 1/4 cup (60 g ) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (32 g ) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (400 g) grated cheddar cheese (medium sharp) divided
- 2 cups (400 g) grated Gruyere cheese divided
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika (you can choose smoked paprika as well)
- Preheat your oven to 325 °F (170 °C) and grease a baking dish.
- Add salted water to a large pot and bring it to boil. When boiling, add elbow pasta (or any other type of pasta) and cook about 1 minute less than it is directed on the package. Drain and add a little bit of olive oil, it will help to keep the pasta from sticking.
- Grate two types of cheese and mix it together and then divide into three piles. The biggest part for the sauce then smaller parts for the middle of pasta and the topping.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in flour and whisk it to combine. Cook for approximately a minute. Constantly whisking slowly pour in the milk. Continue until the mixture thickens to a very thick consistency
- Stir in spices and part of the cheese mixture, mix until it melts.
- In a mixing bowl, combine pasta (completely drained) with prepared cheese sauce, stirring to combine fully. Pour half of the pasta into the baking dish. Top with grated cheeses, then top that with the remaining pasta mixture. And the last time sprinkle the top with the last cheese mixture and bake for about 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and lightly golden brown.
Traditional elbow shaped pasta, check it on Amazon: