(Always read the recipe twice, assemble, and prepare your ingredients before you begin to cook)

16 oz. box of elbow macaroni
½ cup butter + butter to grease a baking dish
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. dry ground mustard
1 ½ tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
5 cups whole or 2% milk
4 cups (1 lb.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided into two 2-cup portions

Topping:
3 tbsp. butter
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • Grease a 13” x 9” baking dish with margarine, butter, or cooking spray
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions
  • While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • Using a whisk, stir in the flour, mustard, salt, and pepper
  • Gradually stir in the milk continually whisking the mixture
  • Cook and whisk until the mixture thickens slightly and starts to bubble
  • Remove the pot from the heat
  • Add only 2 cups of the shredded cheese stirring until melted
  • Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in
  • Pour the cheese sauce into the pot and stir until the pasta is coated
  • Spoon the mixture into the baking dish
  • Top the mixture with the remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • Make the topping:
    • Melt the 3 tbps. butter in a sauté pan
    • Toss the bread crumbs to coat
    • Top the macaroni mixture with the topping mixture
  • Bake 40 minutes until hot and bubbly
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Notes:

  • tsp. means a teaspoon and tbsp. means tablespoon – always use a measuring spoon not a piece of silverware
  • Panko is a Japanese-style plain and unseasoned breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for fried foods and a crunchy topping on baked casseroles. The biggest difference between panko and standard breadcrumbs is that panko is made from bread without crusts and the crumbs have a jagged, coarse texture that allows them to crisp up.

If you’d like to be a guest contributor to The Jefferson Chronicle’s Wooden Spoon, please email your recipe clearly noting all ingredients, measurements, and understandable directions to Carol.Punturieri@thejeffersonchronicle.com and type “The Wooden Spoon” in the Subject line.  Be sure to include your name, address, and a telephone number in the event we need to clarify any information

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