Use coarse day-old bread crumbs if you don’t have leftover biscuits.
Yield: serves 6-8
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 8 tbsp. butter
- 2 day-old breakfast biscuits, split, toasted, and crumbled
- 6 tbsp. flour, preferably White Lily flour
- 3 cups milk, scalded
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz. mild cheddar, grated
- 1⁄4 tsp. cayenne
- 3⁄4 cup diced leftover country ham
- Preheat oven to 375°. Meanwhile, cook macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, 5–8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
- Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a small pan. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with half the melted butter. Toss crumbs in remaining melted butter. Toast flour in a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add pepper to taste, and stir until thick, 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Gradually add 1 1⁄2 cups of the cheese, whisking until melted. Stir in cayenne, then pasta and ham. Transfer to prepared dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese and buttered crumbs. Bake until crust is golden and sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.