Good Morning America Recipes

Ida's Baked Macaroni and Cheese

A Comfort Food Staple From Chef Frank Pellegrino

GMA Recipes Dinner
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Frank Pellegrino of New York's famous Rao's restaurant, joined Good Morning America to share the latest recipes from his new book, "Rao's: Recipes From The Neighborhood." For more information on Rao's, go to

My mother, Ida, used to make her baked macaroni and cheese once a month. My brother and I would count down the days in anticipation. The two of us could eat the whole dish ourselves. This may not be strictly Italian cooking, but it's too good not to include.


  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 pound American cheese or Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked until just al dente, drained
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

    Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Add the milk and cook until heated through. Add the cheese gradually, stirring constantly, until it is melted and the sauce is smooth.

    Place the macaroni in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to coat the macaroni evenly.

    Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and saute until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

    Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the macaroni and cheese.

    Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the mixture is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Let the macaroni sit for 15 minutes before serving.

    Recipe excerpted from "Rao's: Recipes From The Neighborhood," by Frank Pellegrino, St. Martin's Press, copyright 2004.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: cheese, elbow maccaroni, butter, milk

    Course: Casserole, Dinner, Main Course, Lunch, Pasta, Starch

    More Info: Vegetarian

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