Creamy Baked Mac & Cheese with Paprika
- 1 package (16 ounces) conchiglie pasta (any small shells or macaroni will work)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Morton & Bassett Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Morton & Bassett Fine Ground Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Morton & Bassett Chives
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente and drain the water. (Al dente is typically about 2-3 minutes less time than fully done, so the pasta is tender but still slightly firm).
In the meantime in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk the mixture constantly for about 4 minutes until it starts to bubble and turn slightly brown. Then add milk, and stir constantly for about 5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Then add 6 ounces of the cheese and heat for another minute and stir to combine until the cheese is melted and incorporated.
Grease a 9 inch cake pan, add the cooked pasta then pour the cheese mix over the top, then carefully with a wooden spoon stir to coat everything. Add the additional cheese on top, then breadcrumbs, fine ground pepper, paprika, chives and remaining salt. Bake for about 20 minutes until the top is starting to get golden brown.