- 8 ounces of elbow pasta, uncooked (cut spaghetti also works great, you can use whole grain or Barilla PLUS)
- 3 TBS of butter
- 2 1/2 TBS all-purpose flour
- pinch salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1-1 1/2 cups of warm milk (I use at least 2% for this)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss, white cheddar, mozzarella (just another kind of cheese that melts well -- don't use anything hard).
- Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika.
- Cook noodles according to the package directions. As the noodles cook make the sauce.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter.
- Once the butter is melted, sprinkle flour over top, whisking continuously until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add warm milk very slowly, and whisk continuously to avoid lumps. The warm milk is very important for avoiding lumps.
- Once all the milk is added continue to cook until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Allow to cook about 5-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently. This extra cooking time helps get rid of any floury taste and makes the sauce a lot richer.
- (Don't forget your pasta! Drain it, toss with a tiny tiny bit of olive oil and return to warm pot.)
- Add cheese into the bechamel and stir until melted. Taste and add more seasonings (this is where we add garlic powder, cayenne, paprika or more s&p if needed).
- Stir cheese sauce into pasta.
- You can also stir in fresh steamed broccoli and top with grilled chicken breast to make a fairly complete meal. I'd serve the adults a spinach salad on the side to make sure to get in more veggies!
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