mac and cheese recipe

Crazy-good classic mac and cheese may be the most craveable comfort food in the universe

You know you want it. Chefs tell me their customers demand it all the time. When I crave a rich, cheesy, creamy macaroni and cheese, I reach for the cheddar and a bag of elbow macaroni. You don't need to buy anything fancy; no bronze-die pedigree required. For this one I used supermarket large elbow macaroni, and it could not have been better. Yup, crazy-good. (Ding! Ding! Ding!)

It's simple and luxurious, and really easy to make. Boil up and drain the macaroni till al dente. Use the same pot to sweat chopped onion in butter, sprinkle on a little flour and cook it briefly. Stir in milk and cook a few minutes to make a white sauce. Stir in grated cheese, seasonings and the mac. Turn it all into a buttered baking dish, top with bread crumbs, dot the top with butter and bake in a hot oven till golden-brown.

You can riff on the recipe, adding ham or roasted chiles or crumbled bacon or whatever, but I'm a mac and cheese purist. Sharp cheddar is the cheese of choice (with a little Parm), but you can mix that up, too, throw in some Gruyère, if you're feeling French. Go ahead: Treat yourself. You deserve it. 

When I'm in the mood to indulge, a perfect dinner is a simple arugula salad, this classic, luscious mac and cheese and a glass of red wine. Right? 

Here's the recipe: