½ pound penne, large elbows or shells
2 cups milk*
8 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
4 tablespoons Cabot Salted Butter
4 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ pound bacon, sausage, ham, Andouille sausage, or your favorite breakfast meat or vegetables, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup of Panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon basil, dried
½ teaspoon thyme, dried
2 or 3 scallions, chopped
PREHEAT oven to 375°F.
COOK noodles until almost done (al dente), drain, place in a large bowl and set aside.
MELT butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour, a little at a time, with a whisk until it is well blended. Continue stirring, letting it cook for a minute or two. Slowly add milk and keep whisking for another couple of minutes. Add cheese and stir with whisk or spoon until it melts and is blended into the mixture. Adjust the heat to low. Add herbs and cook while stirring for 3 or 4 minutes.
ADD about half of the sauce when it is done to the past and mix well. Then add the breakfast meat of your choice and the other half of the cheese sauce and mix again.
PLACE the breakfast mixture in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs until the top of the pasta is lightly covered. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
DIVIDE into individual servings on a plate or in a bowl when done. Cook the eggs, poach, fry or scramble, and place one egg on top of each of the mac and cheese servings. Garnish with the chopped scallions and enjoy.
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