Second time I've made this and it was even more delicious the second time. Had to share this winner of a recipe. And, isn't it gorgeous? I have one Fiesta 9 x 13 baking dish and everything I bake in it looks even tastier!

Recipe was from Gourmet magazine in 2007 but I found it a while back on Epicurious the best recipe web site ever.

Mac N Cheese via Gourmet

yield: Makes 20 servings

active time: 35 min

total time: 1 1/4 hr

For topping

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups panko (coarse Japanese bread crumbs) or 3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 6 slices firm white sandwich bread)
  • 1/4 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parigiano-Reggiano

For macaroni and sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni

Make topping:

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Melt butter, then stir together with panko and topping cheeses in a bowl until combined well.

Make sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in
flour. Cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring sauce
to a boil, whisking constantly, then simmer, whisking occasionally, 3
minutes. Stir in cheeses, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
until smooth. Remove from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax

Make Macaroni:
Cook macaroni in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons
salt for 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water
and drain macaroni in a colander. Stir together macaroni, reserved
cooking water, and sauce in a large bowl. Transfer to 2 buttered
2-quart shallow baking dishes.

Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.