1 pound cavatappi or elbow shaped macaroni
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 cups milk
2 cups monterey jack cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, or regular bread crumbs
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot.
Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, often stirring, until tender (just past al dente) and drain pasta.
Melt 5 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat.
Add flour, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne and nutmeg.
Cook, constantly whisking, until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1-2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer, occasionally whisking, until thickened, about 7 minutes.
Take the pot off the heat, slowly whisk in cheeses until completely melted.
Add pasta to sauce and cook over medium-low heat, constantly stirring, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.
Transfer to a broiler-safe baking dish (we use a cast iron pan) and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Broil in the oven until topping is golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.