|Salt and white pepper,
|1||pound elbow, shells, or penne pasta|
|¼||cup (4 tablespoons)
|Pinch of nutmeg|
|Pinch of cayenne pepper|
|1½||cups grated sharp cheddar|
|1||cup grated Gruyere|
|⅓||cup grated pecorino
|½||cup grated Parmesan|
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the pasta water and remove 1 cup. Drain the pasta into a colander. Do not rinse it; return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, warm the milk gently.
3. In another saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour; it will be like wet sand. Add the warm milk, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, for 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens; remove from the heat. Stir in the nutmeg, cayenne, and white pepper. Add the cheddar, Gruyere, and romano cheeses; stir until the cheeses melt. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if you like.
4. Pour the cheese mixture into the cooked pasta. Add enough of the pasta cooking water to make a loose consistency. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Adapted from Full Moon