4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
2 cups ½ and ½ at room temperature (whole milk or heavy cream would work too)
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
2 cups sharp cheddar (I used Cougar Gold from the WSU Creamery - the BEST cheese ever!)
½ cup mozzarella
8 oz. uncooked noodles of your choice
1/2 cup panko
3 tbsp. butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil for noodles. Cook noodles until just al dente (do NOT overcook or they'll turn to mush in the oven). Drain and set aside.
In a small saute pan, melt 3 tbsp. of butter. Add breadcrumbs and cook until just beginning to brown. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt 4 tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk together until golden. Drop heat to medium-low and add in 1/2 and 1/2 and whisk constantly for the first 5 minutes. Keep the heat low or the milk will curdle. Add in nutmeg, salt and pepper, and hot sauce and check taste. Let it cook until sauce begins to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add 3/4 of the cheese mixture and stir constantly to melt.
Once melted, pour over the drained pasta and mix well. Pour into a greased 8x8 glass baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.