12 oz. gemelli, cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta
3 tbls unsalted butter
1 tbls all-purpose flour
1 tsp dry mustard
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1/2 c. whole milk
3/4 c. shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 c. shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) - I couldn't find this in the store; I might just use regular bread crumbs
2 tbls chopped fresh parsley, chives and/or scallions
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 tbls butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, mustard and cayenne and stir with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 1 minute. Whisk in both milks and 1/2 tsp salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened and creamy, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the cheddar and jack cheeses and all but 2 tbls of the Parmesan and whisk until melted; keep warm.
- Combine the panko, herbs and/or scallions, 1 tbls butter and the remaining Parmesan in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter melts, about 1 minute; toss.
- Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup cooking water, and return to the pot. Toss with the remaining 1 tbls butter, then stir in the cheese sauce, adding the reserved cooking water if needed. Season with salt and top with the breadcrumb mixture.