- Kosher salt
- 1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni, (or small pasta shape of your choosing)
- 32 ounces (4 cups) milk
- 4 ounces (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
- 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces crisply cooked and crumbled bacon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste “like the sea”. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
Meanwhile, heat the milk over medium heat in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour, stirring to create a roux.
Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the roux and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and smooth.
Turn heat to low and add all cheeses, crumbled bacon, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the bread crumbs are browned on the top.
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Adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Grown Up Mac & Cheese , by Ina Garten