4 ounces butter
4 ounces all-purpose flour
1 quart milk
1 1/2 pounds cheddar, grated (white or yellow or mix)
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 to 8 cups mixed vegetables, cut into small bite-size pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons stock or water
Salt, to taste
Place the butter in a medium pot over medium heat and melt. Stir in flour until well-blended and cook for about a minute. Add milk and mix in well. Bring to a bubble just before a boil. Add cheese and stir until completely melted.
While the sauce is cooking, boil macaroni in lightly salted water for 2 minutes LESS than the box recommends. Strain and place in sauce, mix together well, season with salt to taste.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until just below smoking point. Add vegetables and cook 30 seconds covered. Add a pinch of salt, the water or stock and stir. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add to mac and cheese, and serve immediately.
If preparing ahead of time, you may need to add a little milk to loosen before reheating.