Mac & Cheese

We make no judgment if you occasionally reach for the “instant” stuff. But try our made-from-scratch version—you’ll be hooked. We’ve added onion and cayenne for another layer of flavor, and they help keep this dish from turning into a gloppy mound of melted cheese (not that there’s anything wrong with that).


1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 medium-size onion, finely diced
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces grated fontina or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs (such as panko)


Heat oven to 350º. Butter a 13x9-inch casserole pan.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta about 2 minutes less than package instructions indicate, so that it’s still slightly crunchy. Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and cook onion gently until softened, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in flour and cayenne to form a thick paste; cook, whisking continuously, about 2 minutes.

Whisk in milk until smooth; cook, while occasionally whisking, until thickened and bubbly. Whisk in heavy cream. Whisk in cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add noodles and stir well to coat.

Pour into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Cooking & Recipes


6 servings

Preparation Time: 

30 minutes

Start to Finish Time: 

60 minutes

Preparation Method

Add new comment