Best Macaroni and Cheese

BA’s Best Macaroni And Cheese

Don’t be alarmed if the sauce looks thin at first: It will continue to thicken as it bakes with the noodles. This recipe also easily doubles—because one can’t have too much mac ‘n’ cheese. This is part of BA’s Best, a collection of our essential recipes.



  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 8 ounces cavatappi or other short curly pasta
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces Gruyère, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon English mustard powder (such as Colman’s)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook, stirring, until crumbs are golden brown, 6–8 minutes (make sure to get them toasty brown; they won’t darken much during baking). Transfer to a small bowl and toss with Parmesan, thyme leaves, and ¼ tsp. salt.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (the noodles will continue to cook in the cheese sauce, so take them out a minute or two before you think they’re actually done). Drain pasta; let cool while you make the sauce.
  • Bring milk to a bare simmer in a small saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to stick to bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add warm milk in a few additions, whisking to combine after each addition.
  • Bring béchamel sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until sauce is thickened and doesn’t feel grainy when a little bit is rubbed between your fingers, 6–8 minutes (cooking the flour thoroughly at this stage ensures a creamy sauce). Add Fontina, Gruyère, cheddar, mustard powder, cayenne, and ¾ tsp. salt and stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and mix in pasta; transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish.
  • Bake 10 minutes. Top with Parmesan breadcrumbs and bake until sauce is bubbling around the edges, 8–10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before serving.

Pair this dish with an off-dry Riesling, a Lambrusco, or a Spanish Grenache


Chateau St Michelle 2013 Cabernet

Enjoy this wine with a grilled steak or a hearty stew.


  • Winemaker’s Notes

    We craft our Columbia Valley Cabernet to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit in an accessible style. This is an inviting Cab with plenty of complexity and structure with silky tannins.

    It’s also very versatile with food. Pair this with beef tenderloin or pasta.

    Critical Acclaim

    • WS90
      Wine Spectator“Fresh and expressive, deftly balanced and juicy, with raspberry and cherry flavors supported by hints of cinnamon and pepper. The finish persists against nubby tannins. Drink now through 2020. “
    • WE90
      Wine Enthusiast“The aromas offer notes of boysenberry, herb and barrel spices, with the Syrah blended in (11%) showing itself. The blue and black fruit flavors are lush and fruit forward, with soft tannins, a silky mouthfeel and a sustained sense of balance. It drinks best at a cool 62 degrees. Best Buy


Sky city Restaurant – Space Needle, Seattle, WA

Chowder  Razor Clam and Corn Chowder

Lunch at the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle started off right with this delicious chowder that at first bite makes you just go…ummmm.  So silky and full of flavor, you are going to want to get the recipe and make it everyday.

The views from the top is outstanding as it slowly rotates 360 degrees so you can take in views from all around Seattle.  So the next time you are in town, make sure you take the elevator to the top and start your meal off with soup.

Billygan’s Roadhouse – Salmon Creek Vancouver, WA

Lunch at the Billygan’s Roadhouse today. Blue Moon and orange yum.

Billygan's Roadhouse

Billygan’s Roadhouse

Had a regular cheeseburger with bacon and fries.  Pretty good if you like roadhouse food.  When you order, they ask if you want it medium well.  That is just too dry – order your burger medium and you will get a nice juicy burger piled high with the fixings 🙂

Bacon Cheese Burger

Bacon Cheese Burger


Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf with baby greens and feta

This was really good. Good flavor, nice texture.

    • 1/4 cup quinoa
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
    • 1 (20 ounce) package ground turkey
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 teaspoon water
    1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    2. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; remove from heat to cool.
    4. Stir the turkey, cooked quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, egg, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. The mixture will be very moist. Shape into a loaf on a foil lined baking sheet. Combine the brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Rub the paste over the top of the meatloaf.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 50 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Wine pairings include Pinot Grigio, Grenache, or a Moscado