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About 1/2 cup plain or flavored packaged toasted croutons, preferably all-natural (optional)
2 cups uncooked small elbow macaroni, whole wheat or regular
2 cups milk*
2 level tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons warm water
12 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Extra Sharp Cheddar or Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 3 cups)*
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1. Place croutons in plastic bag and crush into crumbs with small cup; set aside.
2. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook elbows according to package directions, about 7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, bring milk to simmer over medium heat, stirring often so it doesn’t scorch on bottom of pan.
4. In small cup or bowl, completely dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into milk. Continue stirring until sauce is simmering and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
5. Drain macaroni and return to pot. Add sauce and stir together. Add cheese and mustard and stir again. Return to heat briefly until cheese is melted.
6. Serve in bowls, topped with crumbs if using.
Some easy, family-friendly additions: mix in some chopped pepperoni, ham or smoked turkey, crumbled cooked bacon or sausage, flaked tuna, diced fresh tomatoes, chopped cooked broccoli or other veggies. Or change up the flavor by using Cabot Tomato-Basil Cheddar or Cabot Chipotle Cheddar.
*Analyzed using lowfat (1%) milk and Cabot Sharp Cheddar.