Sunday Brunch: Marian Burros' Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

We love Martha Stewart's macaroni and cheese recipe here at Serious Eats, but we're always on the lookout for other seriously delicious versions, like this one from pioneering New York Times food journalist Marian Burros. The mustard, hot pepper sauce, and the nutmeg combine to give this dish its distinctive flavor.

Marian Burros' Mac and Cheese


  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 12 ounces extra sharp cheddar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 8 ounces cavatappi or other corkscrew pasta
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven.

  2. In a large saucepan, cook the onion in the butter over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is soft but not browned. Stir in the flour. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk until thoroughly blended. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and 10 ounces (2 1/2 cups) of the cheddar, salt, pepper, the nutmeg, and hot pepper sauce.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions until just al dente (usually 2 minutes before the package says it's done). Drain but do not rinse. Stir immediately into the cheese sauce until well blended. Adjust the seasoning.

  4. Spoon the mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Top with the remaining 2 ounces cheddar and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is hot, bubbling throughout, and golden.