One of the first things I learned to cook when I started really learning how to cook, was a baked macaroni & cheese. I have been using the same recipe for years now. Recently I thought that I should try to change it up a bit by changing the cheese I use. For this recipe I used white cheddar cheese and shells for the pasta.
8 oz pasta shells (shells made with bronze dies are best)
8 oz shredded white cheddar cheese (buy the cheese whole and shred it yourself for best flavor)
2 oz or 1/2 stick butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
2 cups whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a gallon of water to boil in a large pot with enough salt to make it taste like ocean water. Pasta should always be cooked in a large pot that has been heavily salted. When the water comes to a boil, dump in the pasta and cook until it is almost al dente, but still a little bit chewy, so it will be perfect when it comes out of the oven. Drain the pasta in a colander and place into your favorite baking dish.
Now to make the cheese sauce. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter is completely melted whisk in the flour, white pepper, mustard powder, and a pinch of kosher salt. We are using white pepper instead of black because it will look better in the finished dish. When the flour is fully incorporated, pour in the milk. Turn your burner to medium, stir often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Let the mixture boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Now slowly pour in the shredded white cheddar cheese and whisk to combine. Pour the sauce over the pasta, mix to combine. Now place the entire thing into your oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for at least 5 minutes and enjoy!