For pasta and sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. dry mustard
2 ½ cups half and half, warmed
2 ½ cups whole milk, warmed
1 lb. grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 slices American cheese
2 small jalapeños, stemmed, deseeded and finely chopped
¼ cup crispy bacon crumbles
1 lb. gemelli pasta
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the topping:
½ stick unsalted butter-melted
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan crumbs
¼ lb. grated extra-sharp yellow cheddar
1. For sauce: In medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and dry mustard, continuously stirring until roux forms and cooks, 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in half and half and milk, until mixture slightly thickens, 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in one pound sharp cheddar, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and 2 slices American cheese until melted. Set aside.
3. For pasta: Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water.
4. In large mixing bowl, mix together cooked pasta, 1 cup reserved pasta water, cheese sauce, jalapenos and bacon crumbles. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer mixture to 2 pans sprayed with quick-release spray. Sprinkle evenly with topping ingredients and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 20-25 minutes.
Recipe: UConn Dining Services