This is my everyday, lightened up version of mac and cheese. You could skip the baking step and stop once you add the pasta to the sauce for a quick stove top mac, but we tend to like our baked with some extra cheese on top. What sets my macaroni apart from most is the use of Dijon mustard, instead of yellow powdered mustard. I think this adds a deeper, more sophisticated and complex flavor to the finished dish.

To make this #dinnerdoneby9am I spread the cheesy pasta into the greased dish, top with extra cheddar then refrigerate all day until I’m ready to bake and serve.

-1 box whole wheat shells, elbows or desired pasta shape, cooked al dente
-2 Tbsp butter
-2 Tbsp flour
-2 c milk
-1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-3 Tbsp dijon mustard

Melt butter in large pot, over medium-low heat.  Add flour, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add milk, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add dijon mustard, 3/4 of the cheese, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Stir until cheese melts.  (At this point you could stop and serve as a stove top mac and cheese, but for a chewy crust and soft center continue on into the oven.)  Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.