I got this from The Cookbook Junkie. The kids like it, which is a big plus. It's very nice and creamy, and with the addition of some ham it's definitely a meal unto itself. It's a lot more work than that powdery boxed stuff, but no one here likes the powdery boxed stuff any more anyway.
1 C uncooked elbow macaroni
1 ½ C milk
2 T light cream
1 ½ T butter
1 ½ T flour
1 ½ C shredded Cheddar cheese
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and white pepper
¼ C finely chopped canned tomatoes*
½ teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400°. Butter a 1 ½ quart baking dish.
Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain well.
While the noodles are cooking, combine the milk and cream and warm it in a small saucepan or the microwave. Meanwhile, heat the butter over low heat for 1 minute until foaming. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.
Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture, and cook, stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for a few minutes, until thickened. Add the cheese to the white sauce, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the cayenne pepper and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Stir the tomatoes and sugar into the cheese sauce.
Combine the cooked macaroni with the sauce, and pour into prepared dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.
Note: I like to add about a cup of diced ham.
* One of my daughters can't stand pieces of cooked tomatoes, so I puree these in the blender before adding.
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