The trick to creamy mac and cheese is to mix the pasta and sauce right before you bake it. Eric uses one pound of cheese per one pound of pasta. Watch a demonstration of this recipe on Online TV.
3 cups homogenized milk, kept hot in a separate saucepan
1 lb. dried Italian tube-shaped pasta such as tubetti, ditale or macaroni
1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more to grease dish
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb. aged white cheddar, grated
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Step 1: Warm the milk in a small saucepan and keep warm until ready to add to the roux.
Step 2: Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until very al dente — 2 minutes less than the recommended time on the package. Drain, rinse under cold running water until cool and drain again.
Step 3: In a separate medium saucepan, melt butter over a medium-low heat. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes until it forms a paste. Whisk in mustard then gradually whisk in hot milk. Raise heat to medium and cook, whisking often, until thickened. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in 3/4 of the cheese until melted. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 425°F. Generously butter a shallow 12-cup baking dish.
Step 5: In a large mixing bowl, stir pasta and sauce until combined. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Step 6: In a small bowl, mix melted butter and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over top the pasta.
Step 7: Bake uncovered on upper rack until bubbling and golden, 20-25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Watch Eric demonstrate this recipe on Online TV.