I had a great-aunt who made amazing macaroni and cheese. Well, honestly, everything she made was amazing. This recipe is based on a discussion I had with her when I was about 12 years old, and I’ve included aspects of that discussion every time I’ve made macaroni and cheese since.
24-32 oz elbow macaroni
16 tbls butter (2 sticks)
16 tbls flour, all purpose
6 cups hot milk
6 tablespoons sweet paprika (not hot, not smoked)
6 tablespoons Black pepper,
salt to taste
4 tablespoons dry mustard
8 ounces sharp aged cheddar
8 ounces gruyere cheese
4 ounces shredded romano cheese
2 15 ounce containers of ricotta cheese
Cook macaroni in salted boiling water for 8 minutes, or until al dente. You want it slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and whisk in the flour to make a roué. Heat the milk in the microwave. Stir in the hot milk and whisk constantly until thick, seasoning with pepper and salt.
Grate the cheese and add 3/4s of the cheddar and romano to the sauce, stirring slowly over low heat until absorbed by the sauce. Remove from heat.
Combine the ricotta, the eggs, the dry mustard, and the paprika.
Add the macaroni to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cheese sauce. Add the ricotta mixture and combine thoroughly. Spoon all this into a large casserole dish; cover with breadcrumbs; and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
This recipe filled 2 9’x13’ casserole dishes, as you can see.