Recipe courtesy of Jo Davison
6 tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
6 tbs. flour
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. shredded Sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 packed cups)
4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 packed cup)
4 oz. shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese (about 1 packed cup)
8 oz. Velveeta Cheese, diced
Freshly ground pepper
2 lb elbow macaroni or small rigatoni
3 tbs. Olive Oil
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (1/2 cup lightly packed cup)
Heat oven to 400 F. Start your pasta water. In a small saucepan combine the milks and heat on low. Start the cheese mixture: In a large heavy duty pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes to cook out the flour taste. Stir in the mustard. With a whisk gradually add the milk mixture. Simmer on low, stirring frequently (a wooden spoon works great) for 2 minutes or so, you are just combining flavors.
When pasta water comes to a boil, salt water well, add pasta and cook to al dente. When cooked, reserve 1 cup of stock water and drain the rest. Place pasta back in pot and set aside. Do not overcook pasta as it will bake in the oven for 15 minutes and you don't want mush.
Back to the cheese mixture: Add the cheese one by one, stirring until melted. Consistency will be thick so add small amounts of pasta water to achieve desired thickness. Add pasta to the cheese mixture and combine well, season with pepper. In a small bowl add the bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano and olive oil. Combine the mixture well.
Assemble: In a large baking dish, either lightly oiled or sprayed with non-stick spray add the pasta and spread throughout. Scatter the bread crumb mixture over the top. Bake in the center of the oven until the crumb topping is golden, about 10-15 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.