Kimberly Schlapman, of Little Big Town, shares an easy and delicious take on gourmet mac 'n' cheese.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the panko and toast until golden brown. Pour the breadcrumb mixture into a bowl, add the parmesan and parsley, and stir to combine.2.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta al dente.3.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until it starts to foam, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, heavy cream, and garlic powder, whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens, taking care not to let it boil. Add the cheese in small batches, whisking after each until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.4.
Drain the cooked pasta. Toss the pasta and cheese sauce together and stir to mix well. Serve in bowls and top with toasted breadcrumbs.