To improve on this kid classic, the Full Moon crew tried some out-of-the-store-bought-box thinking. After several months of trial and error (and plenty of input from young diners), they combined three cheeses and bread crumbs to create this hearty casserole.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3 1/2-quart casserole dish. Make bread crumbs from the baguette in a food processor or blender. Mix the crumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and set aside.
Warm the milk over medium heat. In a separate pan, melt the remaining butter until bubbly. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Then, still whisking, add the warm milk a bit at a time. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove it from the heat. Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, and cheeses. Set aside.
Cook the pasta until slightly underdone, then rinse it under cold water. Combine it with the cheese sauce and pour it into the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with the buttered bread crumbs and bake for about 30 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and the crumbs are brown. Let the dish set for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.