Panera Bread Style Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese popularly known as Mac and Cheese is a classic comfort food. Traditionally its a casserole baked in oven, but the cooktop version tastes equally good. Panera bread is a bakery-café restaurant in the United States with presence in 41 states and there is something magical about their ooey gooey macaroni and cheese.  I wanted to recreate their mac and cheese at home  and I almost jumped in joy when I found the recipe on their website. I didn’t have to try 150 samples to get the perfect mac and cheese, thank you Panera for doing all the hard work.

Ingredients

3/4 cup rigati pasta/mini shells or any type of pasta ( I used gobetti pasta)

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup whole milk

2 slices white American cheese chopped ( I used pepper jack)

1/4 cup shredded extra sharp white cheddar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard ( I didn’t add this)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce ( I didn’t add this)

Method

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions and set aside.

2.  In a non stick pan, melt butter over low heat, add flour and constantly whisk for 1minute.

3. Gradually whisk in milk, increase heat to medium and whisk until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.

4. Add cheese, salt, mustard, hot sauce and stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.

5. Stir in cooked pasta and cook over medium heat for a minute.

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