About ½ cup plain or flavored packaged toasted croutons, preferably all-natural (optional)
2 cups uncooked small elbow macaroni, whole wheat or regular
2 cups milk
2 level tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons warm water
12 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
PLACE croutons in plastic bag and crush into crumbs with small cup; set aside.
COOK elbows according to package directions in large pot of boiling salted water, about 7 minutes.
BRING milk to simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring often so it doesn’t scorch on bottom of pan.
DISSOLVE cornstarch in water, In small cup or bowl; stir into milk. Continue stirring until sauce is simmering and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
DRAIN macaroni and return to pot. Add sauce and stir together. Add cheese and mustard and stir again. Return to heat briefly until cheese is melted.
SERVE in bowls, topped with crumbs if using.
TIP: Some easy, family-friendly additions: mix in some chopped pepperoni, ham or smoked turkey, crumbled cooked bacon or sausage, flaked tuna, diced fresh tomatoes, chopped cooked broccoli or other veggies. Or change up the flavor by using Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar or Cabot Chipotle Cheddar.