1lb macaroni noodles
Half pound of sharp cheddar (I used Murray’s)
Half pound of dealers choice buy something melty and nutty or on the milder side (I used Murray’s Fontina)
3/4 cup of whole milk
Half cup of reserved pasta water
Half stick of butter cut into small square “pats”
2TB of whole grain mustard
Salt Black pepperPaprika
Alright so fancy cheese aside, this is my mother’s exact recipe. Even though she wasn’t buying cave aged cheddar or small batch Gouda made by nuns in Virginia (this is a real thing, google it) she always, always shredded it from one of those huge blocks. This is key. Whether you use the best or just whatever’s on sale at Kroger, shredding it yourself is nonnegotiable.
This is meant to be easy, simple, and you should almost always have everything you need to make it as a side dish, or the star of the show.
1: Salt that water before any pasta goes into your boiling water.
2: Once the pasta is cooked, drain. As you’re draining the water, put a half cup to the side. The starches that the pasta releases into the water will help thicken your macaroni mixture.
3: Shred that cheese!
4: In a mixing bowl pour the cooled pasta, most of the shredded cheese (save half a cup for the top), the milk, the reserved water and the eggs.
*It’s important that all of your ingredients are cool. You don’t want to scramble the eggs, you’re making a sauce.
5: Season your pasta mixture with the salt, pepper, paprika and whole grain mustard. I didn’t include measurements for the seasoning because you should “season till your Ancestors say stop,” so that’s what I’m going to tell you. On the off chance that they don’t speak to you, use roughly a half teaspoon of each spice. Also trust me on the mustard it makes the Mac and Cheese taste more like Mac and cheese. If you know what I mean.
6: Place your macaroni mixture in your favorite casserole dish. Top with the remainder of the cheese, the half stick of butter cut into thin squares and another sprinkle of Black pepper.
7: Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
You’ll know it’s just right if you can cut a square and it mostly stays together. The egg mixture has now turned into this beautiful cheesy, custardy thing that makes all feel right in the world.