Macaroni and cheese has its origins in late 13th-century Italy. At that time, it consisted of lasagna noodles made from fermented dough tossed with cheese. Macaroni and cheese as it's known as of 2015 has two origin stories, both from early American history.
A dish known as macaroni pudding was often served in southeastern Connecticut as an after-church supper. This dish is thought to have been a type of casserole, however. The more likely story of the food's origin is that Thomas Jefferson brought the dish home to Virginia after visiting Italy. His daughter is credited for swapping Parmesan cheese from the recipe with cheddar cheese, thus giving the food its modern form.