Crikey Baked Mac & Cheese

½ pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1½ tablespoons flour
¼ cup fresh chopped chives
¾ cups whole milk
2 - 7oz packages shredded Old Croc Sharp or Extra Sharp Cheddar
cayenne pepper (few pinches)
salt & pepper to taste
1/8 cup plain breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter a large baking dish or individual baking bowls. Boil elbow macaroni about a minute less than the instructions say on the box, drain the pasta and set aside.

Then, in a large, deep skillet, melt oil and butter together over medium heat. Whisk in flour until mixture is smooth and cook for about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking continuously, and bring mixture to a slow bubble for about 10 minutes, until thickened into a sauce. Stir in about 2/3 of the shredded Old Croc, adding only a handful at a time so that it stays smooth and creamy. Season with a few dashes of cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Remove skillet from heat and add cooked pasta. Stir so that pasta is completely coated in the sauce. Pour macaroni and cheese into prepared baking vessel(s) and cover evenly with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Serves about 4 side dishes