Macaroni and Cheese


7 tablespoons salted butter, divided
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 8-ounce package ziti, macaroni, or your favorite pasta
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 ounces (about 2 cups) extra-sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add panko and stir until coated; set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions, stopping 2 minutes shy of suggested cooking time; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking continuously, about 1 minute; don't let mixture brown. Add milk gradually and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt, red-pepper flakes, and cheese, whisking until melted.

Add pasta; then spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart casserole or four lightly greased 2-cup baking dishes. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly.


4 to 6 servings

Preparation Time

25 Minutes

Total Time

50 Minutes

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