Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, be it made from scratch or one of those blue boxed quick versions. I grew up, for the most part, only eating mac and cheese for special occasions, such as family reunions or the holidays. Always it would be a baked casserole in a glass rectangular pyrex, that one of the Aunts would bring over. Such sweet memories. Of course this would be my favorite version of mac and cheese, with its almost cheesy souffle texture, because of the addition of an egg to the mix.
My husband, on the other hand, was raised on the boxed stuff. The powdered cheese and milk concoction is his nostalgia. He didn’t mind the idea of homemade mac and cheese, but he wanted it creamy, something with a little more resemblance to his stove top version. Here it is, the perfect middle ground for me and my husband. Creamy from working the mixture on the stove top, no egg, but finished in the oven with breadcrumbs to get that nice browning that I feel is an absolute must. In addition, we have found together as a couple, we adore the flavor of rosemary in our mac and cheese; so there we have it, the perfect combination for our marriage. Enjoy!
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
8 0z Macaroni noodles, cooked per box instructions
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2-3 cups cheese (I do a mixture of whatever is in my fridge, this time it was cheddar, colby, goat cheese, parmesan)
1 teaspoon rosemary (dried or fresh)
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1/8 cup dried bread crumbs, panko, or crumbled croutons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large pot, melt butter. Add flour and cook until a light brown. Add milk and whisk until mixture begins to form a gravy consistency, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Add cooked noodles and stir until all noodles are coated with the cheese mixture. Pour into a 9×13 dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until top has browned slightly.