First, set aside two cups of elbow macaroni. While boiling the water for the macaroni, prepare the macaroni and cheese sauce. You can use pre-shredded cheddar cheese if you're pressed for time, but not to be out-Martha'ed by Martha, I grated 2 cups of cheddar cheese by hand.
Just before pasta is al dente, drain and combine with cheese mixture. Divide into ramekins or spread into a shallow 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish.