Creamy Aged Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb cooked pasta
1/4 cup butter

1 shallot, minced

1 Tbsp thyme leaves, chopped

1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
3-4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Turn on the broiler of your oven to preheat.  In a small sauce pot melt the butter over low heat.  When the butter bubbles, add the shallot and thyme and soften until fragrant and soft (about 5 minutes).  Add the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon, stirring to keep the mixture from burning.  Very slowly add the milk a little bit at a time, whisking constantly.  Make sure the mixture is smooth before adding more milk.  When all the milk is added and the mixture is smooth and clump free, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Periodically scrape the bottoms and the corners of the pot with the edge of the whisk to make sure none of the mixture is sticking or scorching.  When it boils, reduce to a simmer and cook 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.  Turn off the heat and whisk in the cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Mix the cheese sauce into the cooked pasta.  Spread the mac and cheese into a baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs.  Place the mac and cheese under the broiler until the top turns a crunchy golden brown.  cool slightly and serve.

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