Ingredients

How to make it

  • Heat the oven to 400°F and put a large pot of well-salted water on to boil over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour and cook, stirring, until slightly darker, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard.
  • Switch to a whisk and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. To avoid lumps, go slowly at first, whisking until the mixture is smooth before adding more milk.
  • Once about half the milk is in and the mixture still isn’t very thick, you can add the rest more quickly.
  • When all the milk is in, switch back to the spoon and stir in the thyme sprig, bay leaf, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  • Let come to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes to meld the flavors (reduce the heat to medium low or low as needed to maintain the bare simmer).
  • Discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf.
  • Add the Cheddar and Jack cheeses, stirring until melted, and then add the Worcestershire and Tabasco.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Keep warm, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente.
  • Pour into a colander and shake it a few times to drain really well. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce, and stir until well combined. Generously season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread the pasta in the dish.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, olive oil, chopped thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Scatter the crumbs evenly over the pasta.
  • Bake in the center of the oven until the crumb topping is golden, about 15 minutes.
  • Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  • VARIATIONS
  • Add flavor or heat with these add-ins:
  • Pancetta or bacon: Sauté 1/4 lb. pancetta or bacon (finely chopped if using pancetta) until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels, leaving the fat in the pan. Crumble the bacon. Substitute the fat for part of the butter so that you have about 6 Tbs. total, and proceed with the recipe. Add the pancetta or bacon to the sauce along with the pasta.
  • Ham: Brown 2 cups of small-diced smoked ham in the butter over medium-high heat. Drain on paper towels and proceed with the recipe, reducing the heat to medium to cook the onion. Add the ham to the sauce along with the pasta.
  • Hot chiles: Cook 2 Tbs. minced fresh serrano chiles along with the onions. Or add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes with the mustard.

Reviews & Comments 14

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  • Good4U 8 months ago Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    chuckieb ate it and said...
    Tried this a couple of night ago and it was delish. Really good comfort food. Will make again and use some of the additions you recommend just to 'shake it up a little' LOL! Reviewed on IMI. Thanks for a great recipe!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    chuckieb ate it and said...
    Wow! Amazing!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    aussie_meat_pie ate it and said...
    Fabulous recipe - thanks.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
  • conner909 4 years ago
    Sparow, this looks wonderful! Not bland!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    justjakesmom ate it and said...
    I just have two words: YUM MO! .... OMG delicious! Okay that was 4 words... ;')
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    greekgirrrl ate it and said...
    This is the BEST! Thanks!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    a1patti ate it and said...
    OMG!!! My family will love this!! ^5.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    snowcat17 ate it and said...
    AWESOME!!! This I gotta try!!! Thanks!! HIGH FIVE FORKS:) BLESSED Thanksgiving to you and your family!!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    lanabade ate it and said...
    LOVE macaroni and cheese,LOVE Cabots,buy direct from them,ever try their popconn shake-on cheese,can use on veggies etc. also.HIGH5! Blessed THANKSgiving to you!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    lanabade ate it and said...
    LOVE macaroni and cheese,LOVE Cabots,buy direct from them,ever try their popconn shake-on cheese,can use on veggies etc. also.HIGH5! Blessed THANKSgiving to you!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    spinach1948 ate it and said...
    Delicious. Love Mac and Cheese and the bacon adds zip.
    Hi 5.
    ED
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    momo_55grandma ate it and said...
    fantastic post! luv this mac and cheese thanks high5
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    joe1155 ate it and said...
    Awesome sounding. And a heart attack in a bowl!
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag
    " It was excellent "
    maureenlaw ate it and said...
    Sounds wonderful, kind of a gourmet mac n cheese. Thanks.
    Was this review helpful? Yes Flag

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