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Baked Macaroni with Cheese

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Baked Macaroni with Cheese from Chef Anita
Can be made with Weight Watcher’s low fat cheese

Baked Macaroni with Cheese
2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
pinch or grated nutmeg
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cups grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese or combination of  both
1/3 cups breadcrumbs
1 lb macaroni or other short hollow pasta

Serves 6

Make a bechamel sauce by gently heating the milk with the bay leaf and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Do not let it boil.
Melt the butter in a medium heavy saucepan. Add the flour, and mix it in well with a wire whisk. Cook for 2-3 minutes, but do not let the butter burn. Strain the hot milk into the flour and butter mixture all at once, and mix smoothly with the whisk. Bring the sauce to a boil stirring constantly, and cook for 4-5 minutes more.

Season with salt and pepper and the nutmeg add all but 2tbsp of the cheese and stir over low heat until it melts. Place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the sauce to stop a skin from forming and set aside.

Bring a large pan of water to boil. Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease an oven proof dish, and sprinkle with some breadcrumbs. Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until is is barely al dente(not overcooked) the pasta will cook some more in the oven.

Drain the pasta and combine it with the sauce. Pour into the prepared ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining bread crumbs and grated cheese, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy with the family!

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