Sorry, it's all gone. But, my point was, you don't have to bake it in the oven, nor do you need to melt the cheese in a Bechemel sauce. I feel that the Bechemel dilutes the cheese flavor. Also, think about what is going on in the oven. Grated cheese is combined with pasta and milk, and uses the oven heat to heat the cooking vessel, which then transfers the heat to the food. The cheese melts and combines with the milk to form a thick sauce. How thick the sauce is depends on the ratio of milk to cheese. For thicker sauce (rubbery is the term I think that was used in previous posts to this thread) you reduce the liquid. For a more runny, or creamy sauce, you increase the liquid. The butter also adds both flavor and mouth feel. If temperatures are watched, the same process can be done in a pan, on top of the stove. And, by making the sauce separate, you can better control both the flavor profile, and texture of the sauce. The only thing you have to remember is that with any sauce containing protein, you have to use low heat to prevent breaking the sauce.
The other advantage of making your mac'n cheese on top of the stove is that you can add other ingredients if you like, such as diced onion, bacon, or ham, cauliflower, etc. Mac'n cheese is after all, macarroni with cheese sauce mixed in. Whether the sauce is formed through baking, or in a pot really doesn't matter.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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