This pasta dish is a little different from the average macaroni cheese bake. It's has a delicious crunchy cheese and breadcrumb topping. Once you make this dish, it will become a firm favourite.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
I made a recipe and a half of this. Instead of adding more elbow macaroni, I added some sauteed carrot, shredded zucchini, garlic and peppers which I cooked with the onion. (I'm all about sneaking in some veggies where I can. As long as it's covered in cheese, the kids will eat just about anything.) I tried the sauce after adding all the cheese and added about a cup or so more. I took LTH's recommends and used Crackerbarrel's 2% white cheddar, which I found on the cheap at Grocery Outlet. For the topping, I made my own bread crumbs out of day old bread and pulsed it in the blender until it was a fine crumb. Two pieces made just enough. Good sturdy recipe. I always add a little dijon and Frank's hot sauce to my homemade mac, so that is always a nice touch. This is a make again. EDITED: After baking for an hour, the flavors really melded well. I'm glad I made extra because we really ate the heck out of this (even my oldest son had two bowls!) and there's enough for leftovers for lunch tomorrow. It's earned it's last star. AND, it's even better the next day. I warmed it in the microwave and didn't have any issues with gloppy cheese or globs of noodles. - 07 Aug 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I admit it--I left out the onions! Just too big a departure for me I guess We liked this. I reduced the overall butter in this recipe to 2 tbsp, which I used to make the roux. It doesn't need the butter anywhere else (though naturally, it TASTES better if you use butter where indicated.) I added some pre-cooked bacon bits in with the topping, and sprayed the topping with Pam, but really it needed a little butter in the topping (and not in the other places!) to moisten the bread crumbs. I'll make this again, we really liked the blend of spices in this one. P.S. If you're having trouble with graininess, make sure you DO NOT BOIL THE CHEESE SAUCE. That creates the graininess. In fact you can turn the heat off at the point where you add the cheeses to melt them, the residual heat will do the job without any risk of boiling. Thanks for the recipe - 22 Oct 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I thought this was a "4", but Mr. LTH said it's a "5", AND said it's better than MY mac & cheese (yeah, we're pretty sure he ate a lot of lead paint as a child...), so "5" it is! As you can tell by my photo, I did NOT top w/bread crumbs & cheese and bake, per personal preference...I prefer my mac & cheese all ooey and gooey and not dryish and baked. (Though, if you prefer the baked variety, this would be fabulous that way, too, I'm sure!) I followed the recipe pretty close, though I did up the worchestershire sauce, mustard, and Red Hot a bit. I used Crackerbarrel 2% extra sharp white cheese for my cheese and 1% milk. This recipe caught my eye because it's very similar to my families recipe and I've never seen one so close (I don't use onion or Red Hot or parm, I use evaporated milk, and make my white sauce in the nuker) so I decided to give it a whirl. I still prefer mine (not a surprise since I've been eating it for close to 30 years!), but this is def a close second in my book (and I like that it's on AR for easy reccing to others). TY for a great recipe! - 03 Aug 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)