Round casserole dish or a cast-iron pan - 9 inches/23cm (Note 1)
Mac and cheese:
½lbelbow macaroni 9 oz/ 250 g, Note 2
2 ½tablespoonsbutter 35 g, Note 3
2 ½tablespoonsall-purpose flour 20 g
2 ½cupsmilk whole or semi-skimmed (min. 1.5% fat) 600 ml
2cupsGouda or sharp Cheddar grated, 200 g
½cupcream cheese 110 g
a few gratings of nutmeg
fine sea salt and ground black pepper
¾cuppanko breadcrumbs 45 g
¼cupGouda or Cheddar grated, 30 g
Mac and cheese:
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter the casserole dish (no need to butter a cast-iron pan).
Cook macaroni: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt generously and cook ½ lb pasta (250 g) according to package instructions.
In the meanwhile, make the cheese sauce.
Roux: Melt 2 ½ tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Sprinkle 2 ½ tablespoons of flour on top and whisk until the flour is lightly golden, 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour 2 ½ cups milk (600 ml) into the mixture while constantly whisking to break up the clumps. Whisk on medium heat until the sauce starts to simmer and thickens slightly.
Add cheese: On the lowest heat possible, add ½ cup cream cheese (110 g), 2 cups of grated cheese (200 g), a few gratings of nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir well until smooth. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
Combine: Drain macaroni. Add them to the pan and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Combine topping ingredients: Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Add the ¾ cup breadcrumbs (45 g) and ¼ cup grated cheese (30 g). Stir to combine. Cover mac and cheese with the mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.
Baking dish: You can also use a square/rectangular casserole dish of similar capacity. If using a casserole dish, butter it first.
Pasta: Any other short pasta is excellent.
Butter: Salted or unsalted; adjust the salt accordingly.