I decided to make Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese this week.
Is there any better comfort food than food from our childhood?
I'll bet almost every mother or grandmother out there has made mac and cheese for their family at one time or another, whether is be homemade or a box mix.
I decided to pull out my husband's great grandmother and grandmother's cook books and church recipe booklets that play such a big part in the Vintage Recipe Project and have this post do double duty.
You can read more about my inspiration for the project here.
As I carefully flipped the brown and sometimes brittle pages of those cook books and booklets I was disappointed to find not one old-fashioned macaroni and cheese recipe.
There may be a couple of reasons I didn't find a recipe for macaroni and cheese in these early cookbooks.
- One...... the dish could have been regional back in that time period.
- Two...... cheese was much harder to come by back then.
- Three........macaroni and cheese is so simple to make cooks from those days wouldn't have the need to keep a recipe for it.
Since I didn't find a recipe in the Rose family cook books I reached for my stack of vintage cook books and my hand came back with the Lily Wallace New American Cook Book.
As I flipped through the pages I found this.
Based on the ingredients in this recipe it is for one serving and using what looks like is spaghetti noodles instead of the more common elbow macaroni that is used now.
This cookbook is from 1946. In those days pasta was made by hand. It's very possible the elbow macaroni wasn't invented at the time.
I adjusted the recipe for a family size serving that will fill a 2 quart baking dish or six individual baking dishes.
Keep reading to find my recipe below.
More Macaroni and Cheese Recipes
How to make Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese
Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese
- 16 ounce elbow macaroni
- 16 ounce medium cheddar cheese
- 3 cups milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Grate the cheese and set aside.
- Cook macaroni as per manufacturers directions.
- Melt 6 tbs butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat.
- Slowly sprinkle flour over the melted butter and whisk into a thick paste, about 3 minutes.
- Slowly pour one cup of milk into the flour and butter, whisking to break up any lumps. Add salt and pepper and mix.
- Add remaining milk, continue to whisk. Turn heat up to medium.
- Cook sauce, whisking to prevent scorching for about five minutes or until thickened.
- When pasta is done cooking drain well and set aside.
- Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter and stir into the bread crumbs.
- Assemble the macaroni and cheese by layering the sauce, cheese and macaroni in a baking dish or individual oven safe bowls.
- Top with breadcrumbs and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the macaroni and cheese is bubbling.
- Cool about 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe Expert Tips
- This recipe may be divided in half if you need smaller portions.