500 g pasta (elbow, penne or rotini)
2 cups milk
2 dried bay leaves
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded aged cheddar (or emmental or gruyere)
salt and pepper
¼ cup bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 400 °F.
Cook pasta untill al dente, drain and set aside.
Into a small pot add milk and bay leaves. Heat until a few bubbles start to show up on the sides of the pot. Take off the heat and leave to infuse.
In a medium pot, melt butter over medium-low heat and wait until the foaming subsides. Add flour and stir constantly for a couple of minutes until smooth.
Slowly add the warm milk and leave the mixture on medium heat—you don’t want this to get beyond a simmer. Whisk or stir constantly until smooth and thickening. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
Whisk in the Dijon mustard.
Take the sauce off the heat and add in grated cheese slowly, stirring until it all melts. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and combine.
Lightly grease a 13 X 9 casserole dish and pour in the pasta and cheese.
Sprinkle the top of the dish with 1/4-1/2 cup breadcrumbs and ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until heated through and browning on top.