Babysitter's Mac and Cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound sharp cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound Colby-Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
Add the half-and-half, whisking, and cook over moderate heat until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain well, shaking out any excess water. Return the pasta to the pot along with the cheese sauce and the remaining cheese; stir until evenly combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish in an even layer. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the macaroni and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbling and golden.
Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.