macaroni and cheese with crunchy salad

This mac & cheese was a unanimous staff favorite.
By: Amanda Celestino / 04/13/2016 / Recipes

From the playful rotelle “wagon wheel” pasta that gets super saucy to the golden garlicky breadcrumbs on top, there’s a lot to enjoy in this family meal. The crunchy salad of radish and celery is such a natural combination with a creamy pasta bake that we can’t believe we never dreamed it up before. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you'll need: 1 lb rotelle pasta 8 oz extra sharp orange cheddar cheese 2 oz butter 2 tsp dry mustard powder 2, 6.75-oz milk 1 clove garlic 1 oz Parmesan 1 cup panko 3 oz radishes 7 oz celery 1 lemon coarse salt all-purpose flour olive oil freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: large pot large saucepan baking dish grater large skillet

Recipe steps: 1. Cook pasta Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rotelle and boil until very al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta water then drain.

  1. Make sauce Grate cheddar cheese. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons flour, mustard powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk for 30 seconds to cook flour. Slowly whisk in milk and ½ cup pasta water. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar.

  2. Combine Toss pasta with cheese sauce and another ½ cup pasta water. Transfer to a baking dish.

  3. Make topping Peel and finely chop garlic. Finely grate Parmesan. Heat ¼ cup oil in a skillet over medium high. Add garlic and cook until just starting to brown, about 30 seconds. Add panko and stir to combine. Stir in Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.

  4. Bake Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture and bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

  5. Make salad Trim ends from radishes and thinly slice. Thinly slice celery on the bias. Layer vegetables on a platter and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and juice of the lemon. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Enjoy!