Definite comfort food. I usually have all the ingredients on hand and the whole family loves it!
1 lb elbow macaroni
1 sm yellow onion, chopped
4 Tbl flour
4 cups whole milk
4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chili powder
4-5 cups sharp cheddar cheese or a mixture of cheeses
bread crumbs or french fried onions
1/2 cup butter
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook pasta as package directs, drain. While waiting for water to boil for pasta, start sauce. In large saucepan, heat 6 Tbl of butter and sauté onion. Add flour and cook 3 minutes. Add milk, salt, pepper and cook on low heat, stirring constantly until bubbles and thickens. Turn off heat. Add nutmeg, chili powder. Let cool a little before adding cheese so it does not curdle, stir to melt. Pour over pasta, stir gently. Pour into 13×9 pan, sprinkle, bread crumbs or fried onions, and dot with remaining butter. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Sometimes I add browned sausage or ground beef. Stir in other ingredients like green chilies, diced tomatoes, or whatever you feel like at the time.