Homemade mac & cheese just tastes so much better than buying it from a store, give it a go, it’s really easy to make.
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
300g dried elbow macaroni
100g cup butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius with rack in the middle of oven. Butter the baking dish. Set a large, covered pot of salted water over high heat to boil.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon butter and oil until butter foam subsides. Add breadcrumbs and garlic; cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl, stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan and salt, and set aside.
In a pan, cook and crisp the bacon and chop into bits. It will crisp even further once it’s baked, so don’t crisp it too much at this stage. Set aside.
Add macaroni to boiling salted water and cook until just al dente (avoid overcooking) drain and set aside. In a large wide pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle flour over butter, whisking to incorporate and make a roux. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until roux is light golden, about 4 minutes. Gradually pour in milk and cream, whisking constantly to incorporate and make a béchamel sauce. Raise heat to medium-high and bring sauce to a low boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer, whisking occasionally, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes more.
Add the salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and rosemary and nutmeg. Add the cheeses in three batches, whisking until each addition is completely melted before adding more. Remove from heat.
Add the drained macaroni to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir well to coat. Transfer macaroni mixture to the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the bacon bits on top. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bacon, add a little sprinkle of grated cheddar and bake until golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.