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3 slices white bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
2 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
9 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese (divided)
4 ounces grated Romano or Gruyère cheese (divided)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside. Remove crusts from bread and tear into quarters. Place bread in medium bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour butter over bread and toss lightly; set aside.

Warm milk in saucepan over medium heat. Melt remaining butter in high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Whisk the warmed milk a little at a time into flour mixture until smooth. Whisking constantly, continue cooking for about 8–12 minutes, until mixture bubbles and thickens.

Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne, 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup Romano or Gruyère, then set aside.

Boil macaroni until it begins to soften, approximately 2–3 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse in cold water. Drain well, then stir into the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serves 6.

Serving size: 1 large serving spoonful. Per serving: 430 calories, 20 g protein, 24 g fat, 34 g carbohydrates, 729 mg sodium, 75 mg cholesterol

Kathleen Gordon, United Cooperative Services