This is comfort food with just a little pizzazz. We heighten the flavor with just a few additions. It's a very satisfying cool-night meal.
|Lightly Salted Butter
|Flour, All Purpose, Unbleached
|MilkWhole or mixture of whole and low fat or skim
|ElbowsWe usually use elbows, but any variety will work
|Have a good sized pot filled with cold water on the stove. Heat it to boiling.
|In the mean time, in a fry pan, melt the butter. When melted, take the fry pan off the heat and add the flour. Then add the cold milk all at once. While still off the heat, mix or whisk the mixture together just to distribute the flour a bit. Don't worry if it looks a little lumpy.
|Put the fry pan back on the medium heat. Stirring constantly, let the mixture heat just to the boiling point at which the mixture should thicken so that you can see the path of your spoon as you are stirring.
|Cut off the cheddar cheese in pieces and add to the sauce along with the parmesan, saving about 2 tablespoons of the parmesan for the topping.
|Add some salt (about a tablespoon) to the boiling water. As it is boiling, add the pasta. Let it cook until it is cooked still somewhat firm to the bite. Elbows take about seven or eight minutes, sometimes depending on the brand of pasta used.
|Add the mustard and white pepper to the cheese sauce as it continues to cook.
|When the pasta is cooked, drain it (it's okay if a little water remains).
|Add the pasta to the sauce or vice versa.
|Put the pasta mixture in a casserole.
|Sprinkle the bread crumbs and held-out parmesan on top.
|Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about ten or fifteen minutes, or until the top is just a little golden and the edges are bubbling a bit.
|Take the dish out. Sometimes it helps to let is sit about five minutes before serving, just to let it solidify some.
|It should be ready for a hearty meal.