6white bread crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch
1/4teaspoonsfreshly grated nutmeg
1/4teaspoonground black pepper
4 1/2cupsshredded sharp white cheddar cheeseabout 18 ounces
2cupsshredded Cheddar cheeseabout 8 ounces
5ouncesGrated Pecorino Romanoor Gruyere cheese
Heat oven to 375°. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss.
Set breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk.
Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set cheese sauce aside. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer's directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (
Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.