How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cellentani pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and evaporated milk until smooth; cook, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in Gouda cheese, next 3 ingredients, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in ham and pasta.
Pour pasta mixture into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir together crushed cereal, 1 Tbsp. melted butter, and remaining 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper; sprinkle over pasta mixture.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
We tested with Barilla Cellentani pasta and Cabot 5% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese.
Ham-and-Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese: Stir 1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and coarsely chopped, into pasta mixture.
Sweet Pea-and-Prosciutto Macaroni and Cheese: Omit ham. Saute 2 oz. thin prosciutto slices, cut into thin strips, in a small skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Stir prosciutto and 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed, into pasta mixture.
Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Stir 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained, into pasta mixture.
Pepper Jack Macaroni and Cheese: Substitute 1 1/2 cups 5% reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese for Gouda and Cheddar cheeses. Omit ground red pepper, if desired. Stir 1 (5-oz.) can chopped green chiles into pasta mixture.