Place a large sauté pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef. Break the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. As it's browning, mix in the tomato paste, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Once the beef is fully cooked, add the macaroni noodles, and beef broth. Stir well. Then cover the pan and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked to al dente.
Remove the lid and stir in the half & half and shredded cheese. Simmer and stir another 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is thick and smooth. Serve warm.
Want to mix things up? Try using pork sausage instead of ground beef, or pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar.