Picking a pasta for mac and cheese is not something to skimp on. There is a reason you don't see a lot of spaghetti noodle mac and cheese recipes, noodle selection will make or break this dish. Your pasta needs to have all kinds of crevices, nooks and ample surface area to store and collect the delicious cheesy goodness that will be transported to your mouth. The traditional elbow macaroni is a safe choice, can't go wrong with penne, my personal favorite, rotini, the twisty pasta has crevices galore. All good choices that will not disappoint. I decided to go out of my traditional comfort zone when I made an impulse purchase I blame mainly on a pretty bow displayed on the packaging and the interesting pasta colors, that just looked like they would taste lovely.
My impulse purchase came where most of my impulse purchases do, Eataly. Large "calamari" shaped pasta that came in a mixtures of red, green and yellow noodles. The description said the pasta was "named for it squid-ring shape", hmmm, duh. But it also said it's "delicious paired with seafood sauces." Instead I took one look at these large loops with massive surface area and thought "Southwest Macaroni and Cheese".