I started doing the bechamel sauce a few years back and have put my basic ratio of ingredients that makes it really simple as at first I was intimidated by the bechamel because I hate things with lots of ingredients. Except my rub of course :). But there really is only 3 key ingredients for the bechamel. 4 if you then count the cheese.
Though I always have boxed Kraft on hand in case I don't have what I need to make it by scratch. Still love me some Kraft.
My Bechamel Ratio for a 9x13 pan of Mac
-3 Cups Milk
-Cheese: this is where i make changes depending upon my crowd. Some people like more and some like less. I add at least .5lbs of cheese and mix it up all the time with the types of cheese I use.
Other recipes call for slightly different ratio's so what I have is simply what works for me and is easy to remember.
For the pasta I always have elbow on standby, but love using things like corkscrew pasta, small penne and my new favorite is Radiatori which I get at Walmart.
I also started using the cheddar fish crackers as a topping. I grind up some and spread on the top before I bake.