With the holidays right around the corner, everyone is looking for those crowd-pleasing recipes. This mac and cheese is a hit every year!
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly butter a 9×13 inch baking sheet. Cook the pasta for 1 minute of al dente, according to the package instructions. Remove the pasta from the heat, drain it, and return it to the pot. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, stir to coat well, and set aside to cool. Next, prepare the bread crumb topping by melting the butter and combining bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Set it aside and start to prepare the cheese sauce.
During this step, it is very important not to leave sauce unattended because it can burn quite easily and must be whisked continually. The magic is in your whisking skills! Melt butter in a deep saucepan, whisk in flour over medium heat, and continue whisking for about 1 minute until bubbly and golden. Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream until it is nice and smooth. Continue whisking until you see bubbles on the surface, then continue cooking, whisking for another 2 minutes. Whisk in the salt and pepper. Pro tip: Start with 2 cups of cheese but add a handful at a time, making sure the cheese is well incorporated into the mixture before adding more. Continue whisking until creamy and smooth. Now add the pasta into the sauce and combine until fully coated with cheese sauce.
Pour half of the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining 2 cups of cheese. Next, add the remaining mac and cheese. Lastly, sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top and distribute evenly. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Serve as a main or side dish and enjoy!