Leali Sisters' Recipe Column: Baked Mac-N-Cheese

 By Nikki, Jenna, and Josie Leali


We all know the traditional American mac-n-cheese, but do we all know where it comes from? The origins of macaroni and cheese are murky. Pasta and cheese casseroles were being eaten in Italy in the 14th century. By the 18th century, a version was being eaten in northern Europe.  There is no question that Thomas Jefferson came back to America from Paris with a recipe for the dish. Wherever it came from, we all love it now!  

Enjoy this recipe for some of the best baked mac-n-cheese.

This dish will serve six.

Macaroni and cheese ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni noodles
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • Unsalted butter or cooking spray, for dish
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Cheese sauce ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt to taste

Macaroni steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Butter 2qt. casserole dish.
  3. In a large saucepan, boil 4qt. of water, then add 2 tsp salt and macaroni noodles, cook until tender, about 8-12 minutes, and drain.
  4. While cooking macaroni, make the cheese sauce. Add macaroni to sauce once both are done and mix.
  5. Pour macaroni and cheese into the dish and spread evenly. 
  6. Mix melted butter with the breadcrumb. Spread evenly over the macaroni.
  7. Bake until dish bubbles around edges, about 15 minutes.

Cheese sauce steps:

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in flour using a wire whisk until bubbles form and flour turns golden brown (roughly 3 minutes).
  3. Whisk in 1 cup of milk, slowly, then add the remaining 1 cup.
  4. Stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Add cheese, and stir until melted.