It’s easy to make a homemade-style baked mac-and-cheese by starting with a simple cheese sauce. Then jazz up the entire dish with caramelized onions, mushrooms, or even a meat addition like crumbled bacon, sausage or ground beef.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Slowly add in 2 cups of milk while you continue whisking. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook on medium high until sauce thickens and bubbles. Turn off the heat and add 2 cups of shredded cheese, stirring until it melts and sauce is smooth. Makes enough to coat 1½ cups of cooked pasta. Mix it all together in a buttered dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of dish (casserole in a thinner layer will cook faster). Optional: Consider roasting a butternut squash. Scoop out half of the cooked squash, mash it and add it to the melted cheese sauce.

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