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Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Contributed by: NAPSA

Easy-To-Make Baked Macaroni And Cheese: A Satisfying Favorite (NAPSA) - Macaroni and cheese is a common lunch or dinner menu item in many households, especially those with children. But most people would enjoy it even more if it arrived homemade and bubbling in a casserole dish as compared to the mac and cheese from a box or freezer.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese
If you're ready for the seriously delicious version, try this new recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese-with its soft noodles; real, melted, gooey cheese; and a crisp topping.

It's not only mouthwateringly wonderful, but the recipe is fast and easy to make. And, there are many simple variations on this basic recipe. Start by varying the pasta shapes you use-try penne, campanelle or pipettes instead of traditional elbow macaroni. Mix in whatever excites your taste buds-whether that's sliced hot dogs or sauteed mushrooms. Then top the dish with cornflakes, saltine crackers or croutons. If some family members like it without the extra toppings, top only half of the dish.

When using corn starch as a thickener, the experts at Argo Corn Starch and Kingsford's Corn Starch brands recommend mixing the corn starch in a cold liquid, as mixing it with hot liquids may cause clumping.

Ingredients:

  • Sauce

    • 1/4 cup Argo Corn Starch or Kingsford's Corn Starch
    • 4 cups milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
    • Pinch cayenne (optional)
    • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 2 cups extra cheese to spread on top (optional)

  • Pasta

    • 1 pound small tube-shaped dried pasta (elbow, penne, cellentani, pipette, campanelle)
    • 3 quarts water
    • 2 tablespoons salt

Directions:

For sauce:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 3-quart casserole dish or 9x11" pan with cooking spray.

In medium saucepan, combine corn starch and milk. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil.

Continue stirring while bubbling for 1 minute or until very thick. Remove from heat. Stir in 4 cups cheese until melted. Add cooked pasta (recipe below) and stir well. Pour mixture into casserole dish and sprinkle with 2 cups cheese, if desired.

Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

For pasta:

Fill large pot with 3 quarts water. Bring water to a boil; add pasta and salt. Allow to boil 10-15 minutes or according to box directions until pasta is al dente (resists bite slightly).

Topping suggestions: Crumbled cheese and garlic croutons, saltine crackers, cheese crackers, cornflakes.

For more recipes and tips, visit www.argostarch.com.

Serving Size: Makes 8 - 10 Servings


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