Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Dietary guidance: v
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
4 ounces grated Pecorino Romano
About 20 grinds black pepper
Cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a smooth paste. Cook for about 2 minutes, being careful not to brown. Gradually add the milk and the half-and-half and simmer until thickened slightly, stirring all the while. Remove from the heat. Stir in the 3 cheeses and season with black pepper, to taste. Add the cooked pasta and mix into the cheese sauce thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the Classic Mac and Cheese:
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Pour half of the mac and cheese into an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl toss the bread crumbs together with the melted butter, parsley, and salt, to taste. Top the mac and cheese with the bread crumb mixture and bake 15 minutes or until the topping has nicely browned and pasta is bubbly and creamy.