- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- Kosher salt
- 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (2 cups) OR pecorino Romano
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated (2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 6 slices white bread, crusts removed
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish or individual gratin dishes with nonstick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium heat, warm the milk. In a large saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle the flour into the saucepan and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in the hot milk and cook for about 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the cheeses, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, mustard, and paprika. Add in the pasta and stir well to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Make the fresh breadcrumbs by placing the white bread in a food processor and pulsing until ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbling and browned.