As simple as the stuff from a box, but with real ingredients. Creamy, delicious, no strainer required.
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded orange cheddar
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.
Stir in the flour and salt, then pour in the milk and the macaroni. (Yes, both, at once.) Increase the heat to medium and carefully bring to a boil, stirring often to keep the macaroni from clumping together and the pot from boiling over.
When it reaches a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low and let simmer, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, for 12 to 15 minutes or until the macaroni is tender.
Remove from heat, add the grated cheese and stir until it melts smoothly into the sauce. Let sit for about five minutes before serving to allow it to attain the proper gloppy, kid-pleasing consistency.