A spoonful of mac-and-cheese from a stovetop recipe for the classic comfort-food dish. Before you think about skipping the cream cheese when making the stovetop variety, don’t. PICTURE: Karsten Moran/The New York Times
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese (Serves 4)


450g elbows, shells, cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli or other short, tube-shaped pasta
Kosher salt
2 cups whole milk
230g cream cheese, cut into 2,5cm pieces
340g sharp or white cheddar, grated
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper


Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until just barely al dente; drain.
Meanwhile, bring milk up to a simmer in a large pot. (The pot should be large enough to hold all the pasta when cooked.) Reduce heat to low, add cream cheese, and whisk until it’s completely blended and no lumps remain. Add cheddar cheese and butter, whisking until everything is completely melted. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.
Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened and is coating each piece of pasta nicely, 2 to 3 minutes; sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. 
Season again with more salt and pepper before serving

The New York Times