Now I realize that the "best" mac and cheese recipe is up to great debate. However, this is, by far, one of the best mac and cheese recipes I have ever cooked and eaten. Seriously.
Here it is. You're welcome.
Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese recipe
Cheese: I have made it with a few different combinations of gruyere, swiss and cheddar. One time I accidentally bought gouda instead of gruyere and it was still very tasty. My preference is a half gruyere and half sharp cheddar combination.
Mix ins: When adding the pasta to the sauce, that is the opportunity to mix in a delicious addition such as sauteed mushrooms or crispy, crumbled bacon. I just realized that I have never tried the recipe with both mushrooms and bacon. (Next time!)
Sharing: If bringing this dish to a potluck or to a friend, prepare the recipe but stop short of topping with the tomatoes and bread crumbs. Let cool and cover. Pack up the tomatoes and bread crumbs separately to top before baking at a later time. Be sure to include the remaining directions if giving to a friend.