1 package /tube of buttered snack crackers such as Ritz®
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup finely minced onions
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups of milk
3/4 teaspoon s salt
3/4 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (a little more if you desire)
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Colby cheddar cheese (buy the block and grate/shred yourself-taste so much better)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)
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Let's Make It
In a large pan, cook macaroni according to the package direction using the lesser time-al dente. (The macaroni will continue to cook in the oven.) While the pasta is cooking, crush crackers into large crumbs. You should have about 3/4 cups of cracker crumbs. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small fry pan or saucier. Add the cracker crumbs to the melted butter and mix. Set this aside. When pasta is ready, drain, put back into pan and set aside.
Preheat oven 350°F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray or unsalted butter. To prepare, have your flour already measured out and stir the seasonings into the measured milk. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter, and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until you can smell the onions and the onions are somewhat translucent. Add the flour; cook for 1-2 minute stirring constantly (don’t let it burn or brown). Stir in milk and seasonings; cook stirring frequently until mixture boils and becomes thick. Stir the shredded Colby and grated parmigiano-reggiano into your sauce. Pour the cheese sauce into the macaroni and mix.
Pour the macaroni mixture into a 2-quart, greased or sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle the buttered cracker crumbs all over the top. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and hot.