Sharp cheddar and Emmental Mac & Cheese — Week 1: Classics

Delicious Mac & Cheese is classic North American comfort food that’s filling, easy to make and economical.

Basically it’s made of short pasta, a cheese (generally cheddar) béchamel sauce, mustard and paprika. So what makes the difference between an ordinary and outstanding Mac & Cheese?

This week’s Classics theme gave me the inspiration for the perfect, dream Mac & Cheese: A generous amount of extra-old cheddar gives it its sharp, cheesy taste, an ultra-creamy sauce that’s just salty enough perfectly coats the al dente pasta and a crispy, buttery-tasting breadcrumb crust tops it all off.

This longtime favourite couldn’t be easier to make and will please the whole family.


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).

  2. In a pot, melt butter and soften onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add mustard and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.  
  3. Add flour and stir for 1 minute, making sure the flour doesn’t brown.  
  4. Gradually add milk and cream, beating with a whisk to obtain a smooth sauce.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until sauce thickens.

  6. Mix in half the cheese, followed by the pasta. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour into a baking dish.
  8. Top with the rest of the cheese and sprinkle with roasted breadcrumbs, mixed with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until melted and golden.


Johanne Depelteau

Longueuil, Quebec

Johanne, a passionate lover of the culinary arts, has been working in television broadcasting, publishing, magazine writing and advertising for many years.

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