SPECIALTY 4-CHEESE MACARONI AND CHEESE
Cook macaroni according to package directions, rinse in cold water, and drain thoroughly. In a medium heavy saucepan, sauté onion and green pepper, if desired, in butter over moderate heat until just tender but not browned. Blend in flour, salt, and paprika. Stir in milk and mustard, blending well. Reduce heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly hot. Stir in pimento and nutmeg, if desired.
Arrange one-third of the macaroni in the bottom of a greased 1½-quart casserole or baking dish. Top with one-third of the sauce and then one-third of the cheese, spreading evenly. Repeat layers twice more, ending with a layer of cheese.
Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 25 minutes; remove foil, evenly sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over casserole, if desired, and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until casserole is hot and bubbly.
Note: May stir cheese into hot sauce, if desired, blending over low heat until thoroughly mixed; layer sauce with macaroni as previously directed.
Note: To reduce fat content may reduce butter or margarine to 1½ tablespoons, if desired.
Variations: Add 3 to 4 ounces sliced (or cut into bite-size pieces) Canadian-style bacon or 3 to 4 ounces fully-cooked smoked ham or Smithfield-style ham, cut into bite-size pieces, or 3 to 4 ounces drained sautéed/cooked crumbled pork sausage to layers of sauce and cheese, dividing evenly, if desired. Add 2 cored peeled firm ripe medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges or small pieces, or about 12 grape or cherry tomatoes, each cut in half or quartered, or 1 drained (14 to 16-ounce) can diced tomatoes, to layers of sauce and cheese, dividing evenly, if desired.
Add 8 ounces partially cooked thinly sliced or coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms or 1 drained (4.5-ounce jar/can (net wt.) sliced mushrooms to macaroni mixture.