Manchego Mac and Cheese for a February Storm

by Valerie on March 1, 2009 · 0 comments

It’s been a cold week, and last night I got home completely soaked from rain and slush. Husband is out of town, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make Mac and Cheese, especially since there was Manchego in the fridge. You see, husband doesn’t like Mac and Cheese. It’s very odd to me.

I used Kim O’Donnel’s foolproof recipe, though I tweaked quantities a bit and used Manchego and Gruyere instead of Cheddar and skipped the breadcrumbs altogether- the recipe you see below is what I made last night, but for a more traditional version, use Kim’s recipe.

Manchego Mac and Cheese, Inspired by Kim O’Donnel


4 ounces elbow macaroni (I used whole-wheat)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing the pan

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1.5 cups grated Manchego and Gruyere cheeses


Preheat oven to 350. Grease the sides of a glass or ceramic baking dish with butter. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to buttered dish.

In a medium saucepan, add butter and allow to melt over low-medium heat. Add flour, and with a wooden spoon, stir quickly to combine and form a roux. Continue to stir, and cook for about 1 minute, making sure flour lumps disappear. Roux will be a golden yellow color.

Add milk, mustard, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne and stir to combine. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring regularly to make sure milk does not scald, until mixture is thickened. The mixture is ready when a streak on the back of your wooden spoon is prominent. Add cheese and stir or whisk constantly until mixture is smooth and free of lumps.

Pour cheese sauce over pasta to cover evenly. Place dish in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until cheese begins to bubble. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Makes about 2-3 super-cheesy servings.

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