My husband's baked macaroni & cheese is absolutely delicious and is a requirement at ALL family gatherings. The simplicity of the dish is what makes it so easy and tasty. There is no flour or roux, or eggs. Sometimes less is more!
The American favorite pasta is small elbow noodles or rotini. The Italian favorite is long macaroni or Bucatini.
Boil the pasta of your choice in very well salted water until al dente. Don't cook the pasta completely because it will finish cooking in the oven. Pour into a colander and quickly rinse with cold water to stop the cooking - allow to drain.
In the same pot that you boiled the pasta, add butter and melt it over low heat. Turn Off Heat! Add the milk and the drained pasta - stir well.
Taste at this point to see if it needs any additional salt. Remember that cheese is salty so don't add too much if it's needed.
Add about 1/3 of the shredded cheese to the pasta & milk and stir. It doesn't have to completely melt, just get it mixed well.
In a large casserole dish layer half of the noodles, then put a layer of cheese.
Add the rest of the noodles and all of the remaining liquid, then layer the top with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbly and cheese is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to sit about 5-10 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!
*NOTES: I prefer to use a mixture of mild and sharp cheddar. Use Colby or whatever flavor cheese that you like to make it your own. If you like pepper, granulated garlic or onion then add it - I don't think it needs it but make it to your taste.