1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi or macaroni
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups shredded (12 ounces) sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup finely grated (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese
3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Everyday