3slicesbreadcrusts removed (if desired), torn into ¼-inch pieces*
3c. warm milkdivided**
¼ c. all-purpose flour
1tsp. kosher sea salt
1tsp. dry mustard
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
⅛ tsp. paprika
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
2c. grated havarti cheesedivided
1c. grated gouda cheesedivided
¼ c. grated pecorino romano cheesedivided
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 1½ quart casserole dish or an 8x8-inch pan; set aside.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, cook macaroni according to package's instructions. Drain, rinse and set aside in a bowl.
Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss until the bread is coated; set aside.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven set over medium-low heat, add the remaining butter. When the butter has melted, add the flour and cook, whisking continuously for 1 minute, taking care not to burn. While whisking, slowly pour in 2¾ cups of the warm milk, a little at a time so that the mixture stays nice and smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the salt, mustard, nutmeg, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and 1¾ cups havarti, ¾ cups gouda and 2 tablespoons pecorino romano. Vigorously whisk until the sauce is smooth, then stir in the remaining ¼ cup of milk, then pour in the macaroni and toss to combine.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs over the top. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are nice and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
*Instead of the large bread crumbs, you can also make fine ones by pulsing in a food processor for a few seconds or use panko. You will add them to the mac and cheese just like the large ones, only you'll want to cover the macaroni with foil for half of the baking time to prevent them over-browning or burning.
**I used my microwave to warm the milk
-You can easily double this recipe and bake it in a 9x13-inch dish.