2 cups macaroni (this time I used Rotini, but it doesn't matter)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry ground mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 c. grated cheese (I think I actually used a little less than this, and it was still yummy)
crumbs (bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, whatever) optional
What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Start your pasta cooking according to the package directions. Meanwhile:
In a small-medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Add milk and seasonings (everything but the cheese and bread crumbs). Cook, stirring frequently to prevent the milk from burning, until it is creamy and thick. Remove from heat. I like to add a big handful of the shredded cheese at this point. If you stir it in with a figure 8 pattern than you won't get a clump of half melted cheese stuck to your spoon. Stir it until it's all melted and mixed in.
Put half your pasta in a casserole dish. Pour half the sauce over it and sprinkle half the cheese on top. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle crumbs on top. (The crumbs give it a bit of nice texture. I've used saltine crackers, ritz crackers, Cheese It's, and plain old bread crumbs, it doesn't really matter what you use.)
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese on top is melted and maybe even a little golden brown. Enjoy!