COUSIN JOHN'S MACARONI & CHEESE
2 lbs. Ziti pasta (Mueller's)
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper
4 tbsp. parsley
2 lbs. white American cheese (Land o' Lakes or Boar's Head)
1/2 gal. whole milk
1.5 to 1.75 sticks butter
Bread crumbs (Vigo)
Cook pasta al dente and let rest at least 15 minutes in casserole dish(es). The disposable aluminum ones from the grocery store work nicely.
Heat milk on low (between 2 and 3) in large sauce pan on the stove. Do not scald milk. Begin adding cheese a slice or two at a time once milk is hot. Once you add cheese stir continually with slotted spoon so cheese will not stick to bottom of pan. When it starts to melt more quickly, you can increase the amount of cheese you add.
Make a solution of starch and water. You will use two cups or so, and it should be a thin paste. It will look like milk, only thicker. Turn heat above medium as you add starch to evaporate liquid and help thicken cheese sauce. When thickness is achieved so that it will not run quickly through slotted spoon, pour over ziti noodles so that they are covered. Add about 4 oz. bread crumbs, which should be enough to thinly cover the casserole(s). Cook at 350 degrees until brown and bubbling. Let sit another 15 minutes before serving.