Macaroni and Cheese
This classic comfort food dish has several regional variations and is always much enjoyed by children and adults alike.
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add 3 level teaspoons of salt. Grate the nutmeg on top. Add ten twists of the peppermill. Bring to a boil over a high heat. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 9 minutes in boiling salted water.
Maccheroni is a type of macaroni. Some brands print a number on the wrapping, which refers to the size of the pasta. You can use any type of macaroni or hollow pasta (little shells) for this gourmet dish.
When the milk comes to a boil, pour in the drained pasta. Let it cook for 2 minutes, then drain it through a strainer placed over a bowl to reserve the milk.
Watch the milk carefully–it may boil up quickly, without warning. If you place a utensil in it–a skimmer or a ladle, for example–that will keep it from boiling over.
Rinse out the pan and melt the butter in it. Add the flour in a steady stream. Mix with a whisk.
Pour the warm milk in, all at once. Stir until it boils. Take it off the heat. Taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Stir in the crème fraîche. Add the maccheroni and mix carefully.
Using a ladle, fill a gratin dish with the maccheroni mixture.
Grate three-quarters of the Gruyère. Cut the rest into thin slices. Cover the dish with grated cheese.
Be sure to buy the cheese in a block and grate it yourself: this will allow you to choose good-quality Gruyère with a stronger or milder flavor, depending on your own taste.
Finish with the slices of cheese, arranging them evenly over the top of the dish. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Serve very hot, straight from the oven, sprinkled with nutmeg.
This recipe was originally published in "My Best Paul Bocuse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits
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