8 ounces gluten-free elbow macaroni
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (dry them in a 150F oven, then cut off the crusts, and throw them in a food processor to make crumbs)
1 tablespoon butter for bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter for casserole
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or other gluten-free starch)
2 ¾ cups half-and-half (You can use cream or milk if you like, and the result will be more or less creamy - I find half-and-half a good balance)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (Use any cheese that melts well - even more cheddar if nothing else - but avoid mild cheeses, as the flavor tends to get lost)
2-3 ounces parmesan, grated fine
Cook macaroni for 2 minutes less than indicated on package. When done, drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Melt 1 tablespoon butter, remove from heat, mix in bread crumbs and toss. Set aside.
Put half-and-half in a 3 quart saucepot. Add arrowroot starch, and slowly heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat. Add cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, stirring until melted. Season with pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne.
Add macaroni, mix well. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle parmesan on top. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until browned on top. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.
If you fully cook the macaroni, one can omit the bread crumbs and parmesan, and skip the baking step. Much better than any stovetop mac and cheese you can get from a box.