- 1 pound dried short pasta, such as macaroni
- 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 to 3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack or Colby)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
- Optional extras (cook before adding): ham, bacon, onions, peas, mushrooms
- Add 3.5 litre of salted water in a large pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat and add pasta. Cook according to package directions, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add 1 cup of milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and flour in a small bowl and whish together unitl there are no lumps. When whisps of steam start rising from the warming milk, whisk in the milk-and-flour mixture. Continue whisking gently until the milk thickens slightly to the consistency of heavy cream, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Turn the heat low and start mixing a handful of cheese into the milk. Stir in the salt and powdered mustard. Stir until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy. Taste and adjust the seassoning as desired. Remove the sauce from the heat.
- Place the pasta and 1/2 of the cheese sauce in a large serving bowl. Stir to coat the pasta evenly. Add the remaining sauce and extra add-ins and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, loose it up with another 1/4 cup of milk if desired. Serve immediately while still warm.