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I got this recipe out of the newspaper years ago. It's a favorite at our house. Folks always comment that they like how the sauce sort of bursts out of the shells when you're eating it. I've made this with both small and medium shells with equal success.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the shells to desired doneness; drain, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the butter for about 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and mustard powder.
- Gradually add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from heat.
- Add the ranch dressing and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese; stir until the cheese melts.
- Combine the cheese sauce with the cooked shells.
- Place in a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese begins to turn golden brown.