Recipe from The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook by Robyn Webb
Classic Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- 2 ¾ cups 1% milk, divided
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- ½ large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 ½ cups finely shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese(white or yellow)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs (preferably made from Italian bread, but whole-wheat bread is fine)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375⁰ F. Coat an 8×8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
- In heavy bottomed 2-quart saucepan, combine 2 cups milk, half-and-half, onion, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a light boil, lower the heat, and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes to allow the onion and spices to infuse into the milk. Using a strainer, strain the infused milk from the onion and spices and return the strained milk to the saucepan.
- While the milk is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook for 4-5 minutes. (This is less time than the package directions. You want the macaroni undercooked. This prevents the pasta from becoming too mushy in the casserole.) Drain, add to a large bowl, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ¾ cup of milk with the cornstarch. Whisk until well combined. Add half the milk mixture in the saucepan to the milk and cornstarch mixture in the bowl and whisk for 1 minute. Add the milk cornstarch mixture back into the saucepan. Bring the entire milk mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Mixture will be on the thin side. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the stove. Whisk in the dry mustard, cheeses, salt, and pepper. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix well. The mixture should look soupy.
- Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared pan. Combine the fresh breadcrumbs and olive oil in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni and cheese with bread topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes until topping is light brown and macaroni and cheese is bubbly.