Here's my favorite. Sometimes I'll spruce it up by adding about a 1/2 pound or so of diced turkey ham &/or diced cooked broccoli.
BREEZY MULTI-CHEESE MACARONI AU GRATIN
(adapted from 365 Ways To Cook Vegetarian)
1 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2-1/2 cups milk
Approx. a half a pound to ¾ of a pound of a combination of grated or crumbled cheeses (gorgonzola, cheddar, gouda – smoked or regular - gruyere, etc., etc. – pretty much any crumbly cheese that suits your fancy. I frequently make this recipe with all sorts of odds & ends of grateable cheeses I have on hand.)
Approx. 4-6 ounces grated Mozzarella cheese
Approx. 4-6 ounces grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese
Approx. 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
Dried seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)
Hot paprika, or a combination of regular paprika & a little ground cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350. In a large pasta pot, cook macaroni until tender but still firm, according to package directions. Drain well & return to pasta pot, tossing gently with 2 tablespoons butter. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour & cook, whisking, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk & bring “just” to a boil, still whisking, until sauce is thick & smooth, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cheeses - EXCEPT for Mozzarella & Parmesan - until they begin to melt, about 2-3 minutes. Season with nutmeg & black pepper to taste.
Add cheese sauce to cooked pasta. Add & gently stir in beaten egg, Mozzarella, & Parmesan cheeses. Transfer to a lightly oiled 9” x 13" or similar-size baking dish. Sprinkle with hot paprika or regular paprika & cayenne pepper & a little dry seasoned breadcrumbs if desired.
Bake 35-40 minutes, or until casserole is bubbling & top is nice & brown.