Cameron’s Macaroni and Cheese

My son, Cameron, loves macaroni and cheese.  After Ryan (the cheese hater) left home, I made this macaroni and cheese for Cameron.  He especially loved it after a tough swim workout.  It was his idea to add the cayenne pepper, and I think it really adds a nice flavor.

8 oz. of shells (or any other type of pasta you would like to use)

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika plus more for sprinkling on top

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 1/2 cups milk

4 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese (don’t use pre-shredded) divided use

Instructions:

  1. Boil the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, and return to the pan you boiled it in. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk.
  6. Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

7.  Remove from heat, and stir in 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.

8.  Pour the sauce over the noodles and mix well

9.  Add 1/2 the noodles to a 9 x 13 dish and sprinkle 1/2 the remaining cheese over the top

10.  Add the other half of the noodles and the rest of the cheese

11.  Dust the top lightly with paprika

12.  Bake 20 minutes at 350

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