Yes, we’ve switched up the name of this classic American dish, for two reasons:
1. In honor of the 100th birthday of Tillamook, a name synonymous with cheese in the Pacific Northwest.
2. Without the cheese, what would this dish taste like?
This recipe makes 4-6 main course-sized servings, and an outstanding wine partner would be either Merlot or a white sparkling wine. Add chopped chunks of shellfish, and Sauvignon Blanc becomes the wine of choice.
* 8 oz. dry elbow macaroni
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups whole milk
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 2 1/2 cups Tillamook medium shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and macaroni. Cook according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta in a colander and set aside.
2. Prepare sauce while pasta is cooking. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually add milk and bring just to a boil, whisking constantly.
3. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking often, until sauce thickens slightly (4-5 minutes). Add salt, pepper and 2 cups of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
4. Remove pan from heat and fold in pasta. Pour into prepared baking dish, then sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and top begins to brown. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.