1 lb. pasta
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
4 c. milk
6 c. sharp or white Cheddar
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper
2. T. butter
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
Slowly pour in 4 cups of whole milk (don’t skimp here–in fact you can even use some cream) whisking as you go until smooth. Add in 6 cups freshly shredded Cheddar (I use white or sharp). You can mix your cheeses if you’d like. Last time I made it I substituted in one cup of Gouda for one cup of the Cheddar and my husband declared it the best yet. I’ve also added in Parmagiano/Reggiano as well.
Add in 1 T. salt and 1 T. pepper. It’s a lot of spice, but you’ll need it. If you’re not huge pepper fans cut that down a bit, but you need the full amount of salt for this amount of pasta. I use Kosher or sea salt or my new favorite Real Salt.
Put the whole hot, gooey mixture into a buttered 9×13 pan.
In a small skillet, melt 2 T. butter over medium heat. Add in 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs. Stir constantly until golden brown. Sprinkle over the macaroni.
Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.