Creamy Weeknight Macaroni and Cheese
Just as quick as the boxed variety, this creamy macaroni and cheese skirts the traditional butter and flour roux with assistance from cream cheese. While the cream cheese adds an important lusciousness, it doesn’t do the macaroni and cheese any favors when it comes to its flavor, so it’s important to use the sharpest, tangiest Cheddar you can get your hands on. For perfectly coated noodles, make sure to cook the pasta in the sauce for a minute or two.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound elbows, shells, cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli or other short, tube-shaped pasta
- Kosher salt
- 2cups whole milk
- 8ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 12ounces sharp or white Cheddar, grated
- 3tablespoons unsalted butter
- Freshly ground pepper
Step 1Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until just barely al dente; drain.
Step 2Meanwhile, bring milk up to a simmer in a large pot. (The pot should be large enough to hold all the pasta when cooked.) Reduce heat to low, add cream cheese, and whisk until it’s completely blended and no lumps remain. Add Cheddar cheese and butter, whisking until everything is completely melted. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.
Step 3Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened and is coating each piece of pasta nicely, 2 to 3 minutes; sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Season again with more salt and pepper before serving.