The original version of this recipe came from "The Northern Exposure Cookbook" by Ellis Weiner. This is a real family-style kid-pleasing recipes that I often bring to potlucks and family gatherings. It is like a pot of macaroni & cheese but with the added surpise of the hotdog slices. It is easy prepare, is inexpensive, and doubles nicely. I have even prepared the ingredients the night before and baked it the next day with success (just allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before baking or add a little extra cooking time). You may use reduced fat ingredients if you have health concerns, but it will not be quite as rich. That being said, I do just about always use "light" hotdogs with no real sacrifice to taste. Prep time includes cooking the pasta.