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Creamy Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese

Author: Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Ingredients

  • About 16 ounces 1 pound pasta of your choice, preferably organic. My favorite now is spelt pasta or einkorn pasta! You can try whole grain pasta if your family likes it, but my family doesn't.
  • 2 Tablespoons real olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter pastured butter is best
  • 1/2 cup flour I use einkorn flour mostly now
  • 3 cups whole milk sometimes I'll use cream for part of that amount, read about healthy milk choices here
  • 8-12 ounces of your favorite cheese we use organic cheddar, shredded -- plus a little extra for the top if desired, see the instructions below
  • Sea salt and pepper to your taste
  • Organic cracker crumbs I like these crackers best for this recipe or seasoned bread crumbs, optional, about 3/4 cup (I save the bread ends that no one wants and every now and then I’ll put them through the food processor and add a little garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, maybe some Italian herbs and keep it all in a baggie in the freezer to use in quick meals like this.)
  • About 3/4 cup melted butter to mix with the cracker or bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Boil pasta with a olive oil and 1 Tablespoon sea salt.  Now make a basic cheese sauce while the pasta is cooking…
  • Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. When it's hot, add flour and whisk it well; keep whisking while it cooks for 2 minutes or so, but keep the heat on low-medium and don't let it burn. Add milk slowly and keep whisking, it'll start to thicken. Once you have it all stirred in (again, keep whisking and don't have your heat too high or it will stick and burn), add the cheese. Keep whisking as it melts and add some pepper and plenty of sea salt to give it a great taste – do some taste testing to get it right -- add more cheese too, if desired. (This cheese sauce is also great on steamed veggies and it's the same sauce I use for my ham & escalloped potatoes.)  If it gets too thick, add a little more milk and whisk some more.
  • When the pasta is cooked, strain it then stir everything together and you're done!  If you want it extra tasty, sprinkle on some bread crumbs or cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter.
  • Sometimes I'll double the recipe and put it all into a buttered baking dish, add extra cheese on top and the seasoned bread crumbs/crackers, then bake till it's hot and golden at about 350* or if it's still hot, just throw it under the broiler for a few minutes to get the top golden and crispy.
  • Also try this recipe that my Mom makes:  baked macaroni & cheese -- for that one you don't make a separate cheese sauce first.