I've been hoarding some leftover ham, waiting for the right moment to make some macaroni and cheese with ham. Well, head cold be darned, after an overcast gray day today highlighted by the unpleasant sump-pump project, tonight was the night, and it hit the spot, served with some yummy steamed broccoli. (More about the sump pump project soon, I know you'll be riveted.)
I started with the basic recipe from my favorite old standby, the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and surprise, surprise, made a few changes.
First, start boiling a big pot of water for the pasta, and pre-heat the oven to 350F. Butter a baking dish and set aside.
Ali's Mac 'n Cheese
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 1/2 c milk, scalded
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 t smoked Spanish Paprika
1 1/2 c Cabot Hunter's Sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 c Cabot Habanero Cheddar, grated
1/2 lb cooked macaroni or other curvy pasta such as Barilla Cellentani
When the water comes to the boil, cook the pasta as directed, and set aside in a buttered baking dish. Sautee the onions until soft in 1 T of the butter. Stir in the Spanish paprika and set aside. Over medium heat, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour. Stir and cook until well combined. Add the hot milk, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. When all the milk has been added, bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the onions, and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes to cook flour and thicken. Add the grated cheeses, stirring to melt. Stir into the pasta, pop into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and just browned on the edges. Enjoy!
I get many of my spices, including the Smoked Spanish Paprika, from Penzey's Spices. (They have a great selection of excellent spices and herbs, and are especially useful for locating rather hard to find items, such as top quality candied ginger.) I added some diced leftover ham, just after the cheeses. Leftover broccoli is also a yummy addition. This makes enough for plenty of leftovers for lunches.