People have likely been combining pasta and cheese for hundreds of years, if not millennia. The earliest recipes for macaroni and cheese appeared in Italy in the 14th century, and the first modern recipe for baked mac and cheese was published in an English cookbook in the late 18th century.
A great baked mac and cheese dish needs a melting cheese to deliver the creamy, bubbly goodness we all expect from our mac. Monterey Jack, fontina, baby swiss, or mascarpone are all great options. But because many melting varieties have a milder taste, you'll also want a cheese that brings a lot of flavor. Try parmesan, bleu cheese, smoked gouda, or havarti. Cheddar or gruyere cheese are a few of the varieties that both melt well and are big on flavor.