- 1 pkg. pasta – elbow macaroni or shells
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups milk (I used skim, but feel free to use any variety)
- 1/2 cup white cooking wine
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (topping)
- Dash or two paprika
1) Boil your pasta al dente (don’t overcook). Drain and reserve in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350.
2) In saute pan, melt 2 tbsp. of the butter. When melted, stir in the breadcrumbs and toast just until lightly browned. Remove breadcrumbs from pan and set aside. Wipe pan clean with paper towel and re-use for next step.
3) Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter, add onions, and stir over low heat until onions are just translucent, but not browned. Stir in the flour and a dash or two of paprika and S/P. Add the wine, then gradually stir in the milk.
4) Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Add cheese and continue stirring with a whisk until everything is combined and the texture is creamy and smooth.
5) Pour your cheese sauce over the pasta waiting patiently in the large bowl. Turn out into a generously buttered casserole dish (approximately 1 1/2 quarts). If you have any extra grated cheese, you can sprinkle this on top along with the Panko bread crumb topping.
6) Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until heated all the way through and golden brown on top.
Time: ~40 minutes total
Recipe Source: This is a “perfecting” recipe – I browse several different recipes and pull what seem to be the best combination of ingredients and technique to create my own recipe.