Your tastes have changed a lot since childhood. But a good old bowl of mac and cheese? That's been a constant comfort since the days of lunch boxes and pigtails. 

Consider these three pro tips a testament to our enduring love for the dish--and consider your next batch elevated. 

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Pasta Shape Matters

To get the most cheesy sauce per bite (if we're being honest, isn't that the end game?), use pasta varieties with hollow, cup-like shapes. Orecchiette or mini shells are your best bets for cheese vessels. 

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Undercook your noodles

First, as your water comes a boil, toss in a generous handful of kosher salt to pump up the flavor. Then proceed to undercook your pasta by 2 to 3 minutes less than recommended on the box. Reason being: When you add sauce to the noodles, their al dente consistency will absorb the cheese and they'll continue to soften.

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Source better cheeses

If you use quality cheeses, the taste and texture of the dish will follow suit. While there is no wrong combination, we favor a classic cheddar for sharpness, Gouda for nuttiness and provolone for its melting ability. (P.S. Be sure to grate your cheeses finely for a smoother sauce.)

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