Martha Stewart's Tip To Avoid Mealy Macaroni And Cheese

When cold winter months come around, few meals can rival the pleasure found in a satisfyingly warm bowl of macaroni and cheese. The Food We Know traces the origins of this classic American favorite back to Liber de Coquina, a cookbook written by French and Italian authors centuries ago. While the recipe has gone through endless variations throughout its culinary history, there's no denying the enduring appeal of a steaming bowl of tenderly cooked noodles that have been coated in melty cheese. 

Whether made in a slow cooker or topped with added crunch, mac and cheese recipes are endless — and oh so gratifying. Of course, Martha Stewart has her own take on the familiar dish, and with her guidance, you, too, can delight in serving up tempting spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese for dinner. 

With a reasonable number of simple ingredients, Stewart's recipe is easy to replicate from the comfort of your home kitchen.

Get creamy

Martha Stewart uses a lot of milk to make a béchamel sauce to adorn the noodles in her recipe (Epicurious recommends whole milk in their own recipe for béchamel mac and cheese). Whisk Affair describes béchamel as "one of the classic French mother sauces," a perfectly smooth accompaniment for casseroles and pasta. 

Stewart whisks milk consistently until the texture thickens and further instructs that the macaroni noodles should be cooked al dente, which is usually a few minutes shy of what is printed on the label of the box. This macaroni will be stirred directly into the sauce made with milk and cheese — and Stewart adds a touch of cayenne pepper, a taste borrowed from her mother's cooking. The prepared mixture will be baked until browned. 

Before serving, Stewart garnishes bowls with spoonfuls of sour cream, an added silky texture to complement the prepared noodles. This addition of sour cream plays well with the nutmeg and pepper Stewart uses to flavor her dish. If you're lucky, you'll have leftovers for the next day — but it's highly unlikely.