Serves approx. 6-8 as main dish or 10-12 as a side
1 lb. pasta (cavatappi) 6 cup shredded sharp or white cheddar
1 stick butter 1 tbsp. salt
½ cup flour 1 tbsp. pepper
4 cups milk 2 tbsp. butter
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Boil the pasta in water salted with a tsp. of salt.
While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 stick of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in ½ cup flour and whisk together for 2-3 minutes to let it cook.
Add in 1 tbsp. salt and 1 tbsp. Slowly add in the 4 cups of milk, whisking as you go until smooth. Keep whisking until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens considerably. Remove from heat.
Grease a 9×13 dish with butter and add the cooked pasta to the dish.
Over the top of the pasta, sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the cream sauce over the top of the cheese and pasta and let it sit a couple of minutes to begin to melt the cheese.
Then, stir the cream sauce, cheese, and pasta together.
In a small skillet, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add in 1/5 cup panko bread crumbs. Stir constantly until golden brown. Sprinkle over the pasta and cheese.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.