Shells ‘n Cheese

My husband and I realized long ago that we don’t like macaroni noodles. So, our Mac ‘n Cheese usually consists of whatever kind of noodle we feel like, though usually it is large shells. We love the way the shells hold the cheese sauce inside the shells so you get a more cheesy bite with the shells. This is my Grandmother’s recipe, the one that my mother passed on to me when I got married. The picture seen below is of my mom’s copy of this recipe that my Grandmother hand-wrote out in her cursive back when my mom got married. Someday I will give a copy of this recipe to my daughter, though it will probably be typed out and possibly emailed. My handwriting, especially my cursive, has never been my strong suit.

Shells ‘n Cheese

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 Tbs. salt

2 C. large shells

2 C. cheddar cheese

4 Tbs. butter

 4 Tbs. flour

2 C. milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. paprika

3/4 tsp. dijon mustard

2 Tbs. melted butter

1/4 C. breadcrumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Once boiling add the bouillon cubes and salt until dissolved. Add the shells and cook according to directions on the box until done.
  • While cooking the pasta make the White Sauce. Make a roux by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, while whisking. Add the milk 1 C. at a time. Stir constantly until it starts to thicken up. Add the cheese until melted, with the salt, paprika and mustard. Add drained cooked pasta into the sauce and mix well.
  • Combine the melted butter and breadcrumbs to make the topping. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta after putting the pasta mixture into its baking dish.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the topping is browned and crispy.

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