- 1 package (1 pound) penne pasta (she actually used shells)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup all- purpose flour
- 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
- 8 oz Fontina cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 8 oz Gruyere cheeses, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 package (8oz) sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 275. Heat large covered pot over salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs, drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, in small microwave safe bowl, heat 2 Tbsp butter in microwave. Add panko and Parmesan and stir until breadcrumbs are moistened.
- In 4-5 quart saucepan, melt remaining 4 Tbs butter over medium heat. With whisk, stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and heat to boiling over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until mixture is smooth and thickens. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in Fontina, Gruyere, Cheddar, salt and pepper; fold in pasta until well coated with sauce.
- Pour pasta mixture into ungreased 13×9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top. Bake 30-35 minutes or until edges bubble and top is browned.
With the recipe are suggestions for additions you can stir in making your mac & cheese even better: carmalized onions, green chiles, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, pre-cooked asparagus or broccoli, roasted red peppers, chopped fresh herbs, sauteed mushrooms, peas, ham, grilled chicken, bacon, pepperoni, smoked sausage.
photo credit: istockphoto.com