Macaroni and Cheese

A recipe taken from America: The Cookbook
Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 6-8


1 lb (455 g) penne pasta
4 cups (1 liter) milk
1 bay leaf
6 tablespoons (85 g) butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2 cups (230 g) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups (230 g) shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco-style hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (75 g) fresh breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C/Gas Mark 5). Butter a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and the bay leaf over medium heat until very warm.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and let melt. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and gradually whisk in the hot milk. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a low boil, and cook, whisking often, for about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheeses, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Add the pasta to the pan and fold together to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and olive oil. Distribute evenly over the top of the pasta. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve hot.


With 800 home-cooking recipes, America: The Cookbook is a celebration of the remarkable diversity of American food and food culture state by state. Features 50 essays and menus from a 'who's who' of 100 foremost food experts and chefs.

America: The Cookbook is the first book to document comprehensively – and celebrate – the remarkable diversity of American cuisine and food culture. A thoroughly researched compendium of 800 home-cooking recipes for delicious and authentic American dishes, America: The Cookbook explores the country's myriad traditions and influences, regional favourites and melting-pot fusion – the culinary heritage of a nation, from appetizers to desserts and beyond. A unique state-by-state section features essays and menus from a 'who's who' of 100 foremost food experts and chefs.