- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole or 2 percent milk
- 3 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, a couple pinches
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked 8 minutes or to al dente, with a little bite to it
Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter, about one turn of the pan. When the butter melts into the oil, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about three minutes.
Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in two cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time.
Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Taste and add a little salt, if you like. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce.
Transfer to a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place baking dish under a hot broiler and brown the cheddar cheese on top.