Here is the homemade mac and cheese recipe I use and everyone raves about it... pretty much any cheese works, but a combination of cheddar and gruyere is especially delicious. You can also add ham or chopped broccoli to the mix if you desire.
Day old bread
12 oz Pasta
3 cups milk
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (or substitute others… gruyere is quite tasty)
8 Tbl (1 stick) butter, divided 6/2
5 Tbl flour
Breadcrumbs: grind day-old bread in food processor (parmasean cheese side of a box grater works good too). sauté in 2 TBL butter until golden brown, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Pasta: Bring salted water to a boil. Cook 12 oz of pasta 2/3 of the way through, drain, set aside.
Sauce: Melt 6 TBL butter in a sauce pan over low/medium heat. Sprinkle in 5 TBL flour and cook for two minutes. Add milk, ¼ cup at a time, whisking constantly. when each ¼ cup is fully absorbed, add another. it will be a lumpy mass at first but just keep going and it will turn into a sauce. once the sauce is smooth you can add the remaining milk all at once. add 2 tsp salt and a pinch or two of cayenne, to your liking. cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. turn off heat and stir in cheese, one handful at a time, stirring to incorporate. reserve ½ cup or so cheese.
Assembly: Put pasta in an ovenproof container, pour sauce over and stir together. I use our 3 qt straight side calphalon pan…. I make the sauce in it first, then add the pasta and stir. a glass baking dish would work too. Cover with remaining cheese, then add breadcrumbs on top. Bake uncovered@350 for 30 minutes until top is golden brown. Allow 5 minutes rest before serving.