Macaroni and cheese – light

Macaroni and cheese - lightDue to dietary constraints, I had to use regular pasta, but in the future I would definitely try whole wheat pasta instead. Also feel free to experiment with different kinds of cheeses.

1 lb. pasta shapes, such as shells or elbow macaroni
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups almond milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
8 oz. shredded light Jarlsberg
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup panko (or homemade bread crumbs, finely ground)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta for a few minutes less than package directions, drain well. Return to the stockpot off the heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook until light golden brown and it starts to foam, whisking constantly, about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until no lumps remain. Stir in the salt and mustard. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 6-8 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the cheese a handful at a time, mixing until fully melted before adding more. Once all the cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, transfer the pasta in a large casserole dish, and pour the sauce over the pasta. Stir well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add panko and brown – being careful not to burn the panko. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover.
Bake for 30 minutes and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from annieas-eats.com and allrecipes.com

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