Chrissy's Macaroni and Cheese
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Chrissy's Macaroni and Cheese

Three different cheeses (Cheddar, Gruyere and American) and the garlicky bread crumbs made this a rich, creamy macaroni and cheese with a nice bit of crunch on top.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 1 lb pasta shells
  • 1 Tbs oil

Bread Crumbs

  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter plus more to grease the casserole dish
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 heaping 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cheese Sauce

  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
  • 5 Tbs flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 3 cups grated Cheddar
  • 3 cups grated Gruyere,
  • 3/4 lb of American cheese slices

Instructions

Cook the Pasta

  • Cook a pound of pasta shells, drain, rinse, and toss with some oil so they won't stick together.

Make the Bread Crumbs

  • Tear 6-8 slices of white bread into pieces and then whir in a food processor to make the fresh bread crumbs, aiming for about 4 cups. 
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat, add the garlic,  and cook until softened but not browned, just 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the fresh breadcrumbs to the skillet and stir well to blend the butter and bread crumbs. Turn the heat up a bit and cook, stirring, until toasty. 
  • Take off the heat and stir in salt, pepper and grated Parmesan. Set aside.

Make the Cheese Sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 425 and butter a 9x13 baking dish. 
  • Melt a cube of butter in the pot you used to cook the pasta. Add the flour and stir, cooking a few minutes until toasty.
  • Whisk in the milk gradually. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until it thickens, whisking, about 4-5 minutes.  Turn off the heat.
  • Reserve a handful of the grated cheese and add the rest of the grated plus the American to the sauce, stirring until it's all melted. 
  • Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce and stir and reheat if necessary. 
  • Pour the pasta and sauce into the buttered 9x13 pan and top with the reserved grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 425 about 8 minutes.