Here’s a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, “French Home Cooking,” by Paul Bocuse:
Macaroni Au Gratin (Best Mac and Cheese Recipe)
- 1 pound long macaroni
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and split lengthwise
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- Salt, pepper
- Nutmeg (preferably, fresh ground)
- 3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, of heavy cream
- 4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 ounces butter (preferably unsalted), cut into small pieces
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350
- Step 2 Cook macaroni in rapidly boiling salted water for 7 minutes, then drain in a colander (do not cool).
- Step 3 Rub a large baking dish with the garlic and butter it well.
- Step 4 Heat the milk in a large saucepan and season generously with salt, pepper, and a just a pinch or two of nutmeg (Note: Nutmeg is strong, especially fresh-ground, and you don’t need much to add flavor).
- Step 5 Stir in the cream and the macaroni, then pour into the baking dish.
- Step 6 Sprinkle with grated cheese, dot with butter, and bake for one hour (The macaroni should bake for a long time. It will finish cooking in the milk and become beautifully browned on top).