Macaroni and Cheese


  • 1 tsp. butter, to grease the baking dish
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni pasta (or penne or rotini)
  • Pinch salt, for pasta water
  • 1 cup grated sharp (aged) cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Pinch salt and white pepper, to season
  • Extra grated cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top
  • 3 Tbsp. bread crumbs (optional)


  • Medium-sized baking dish
  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Grater
  • Wooden spoon
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Medium-sized pot
  • Dinner knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spatula

Prep time:




Cook time:


Recipe attribution:

Barbara Finley, Project CHEF

  1. Turn on the oven to 350° F.

  2. Lightly grease the baking dish with butter using your fingers to spread it around.

  3. Fill a large pot ½ full with cold water and add a good pinch of salt. Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat on high.

  4. When the water is boiling, carefully add the macaroni and give it a stir with a wooden spoon so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook about 8 minutes, until al dente, firm but cooked through.

  5. Put a colander into the sink and pour the macaroni and water into it. Be sure you use oven mitts and ask an adult for help if you feel you need it. Shake out the water, leaving the macaroni.

  6. While the macaroni is boiling, grate the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and set aside. The grater is sharp so watch your fingers.

  7. Measure 2 Tbsp butter. Put the butter in a medium-sized pot on the stove. Turn the heat on to low. Melt the butter.

  8. Measure 2 Tbsp flour and 2 tsp dry mustard. Sprinkle the flour and mustard over the melted butter. Stir into a smooth paste with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.

  9. Measure the milk then slowly add the milk to the pot. Add a little at a time and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth.

  10. Turn up the heat to medium. Cook the sauce for 6 - 8 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

  11. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.

  12. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir until the sauce is mixed in. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper.

  13. Tilt the pot toward the buttered baking dish. Using a spatula, scrape the macaroni into the dish. It is helpful to have one person hold the pot with oven mitts while another person scrapes the macaroni.

  14. Spread the macaroni evenly and sprinkle some extra cheddar cheese and the bread crumbs on top.

  15. Put the baking dish in the oven for 20 minutes. The cheese should be melted.

  16. Serve on a plate or in a bowl.

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