Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup butter (1-stick)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (8-ounces), grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in cheese and cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.

Drain macaroni and gently stir into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered until bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.