With an eye to planned leftovers that can be used for a quick lunch or dinner this week, I put together some baked macaroni & cheese.
3/4 pound small macaroni (mini penne, mini shells, elbows or cavatappi all work), cooked al dente
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
10 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (3+ cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
salt, to taste
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Cook pasta as directed on the package.
Heat milk in a small saucepan, making sure not to boil it, or heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven. Whisk in flour and then the hot milk and cook until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat. Add cheese, pepper, salt and mustard. Stir until combined. Fold in cooked pasta. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Cover and bake 20 minutes at 350, then remove the cover and bake 10 minutes at 300 until the sauce is bubbly and the casserole is browned on top.
This is great with a salad and crusty bread!