Saucepan Macaroni and Cheese


Kosher salt for boiling pasta, plus ½ tsp. for seasoning
1 lb. dried macaroni elbows, shells, or penne
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. flour or cornstarch
3 c. milk
⅛ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. prepared Coleman’s mustard
8 oz. cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp. Parmesan-Reggiano, freshly grated
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta to al dente, and drain in a colander; set aside.

Melt butter in the pasta pot over low heat; add the flour or cornstarch and whisk for one minute, until the mixture bubbles.   Raise the temperature to medium and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to blend.  Add the nutmeg and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly.  Turn the heat to low and cook at a bare simmer for about 10 minutes; the sauce should thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat and discard the bay leaf.  Stir in the mustard, then add the drained pasta and grated cheeses.  Return to very low heat and stir to melt the cheese.  Season as needed with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

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