Gourmet Mac and Cheese

2 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
2 cups sliced onion (about 1 medium)
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
12 ounces uncooked pasta in the shape of your choice
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
2 oz French bread baguette, torn
2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat 1 3/4 cups milk, onion, bay leaf, pepper, and nutmeg in a large saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edges (do not boil). Cover and remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
3. Strain milk mixture through a colander over a bowl; discard solids. Return milk to saucepan over medium heat.
4. Combine remaining 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually stir flour mixture and salt into warm milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 6 minutes or until mixture cools to 155°.
5. Gradually add fontina and Gruyere cheeses, stirring until cheeses melt. Stir in pasta. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart broiler-safe glass or ceramic baking dish.
6. Preheat broiler.
7. Place bread, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Drizzle with olive oil; pulse until fine crumbs form. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta. Place dish on middle rack in oven; broil 2 minutes or until golden brown.


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