The instructions are for about a pack of the store bought pasta. My favorite brand is Barilla.
My secret to cook perfect, tender pasta, is to never add oil to the water unless it's right at the end when the pasta is already cooked. Once the pasta is added to the boiling water, bring the heat to a boil again, then reduce the heat to a medium-medium low for 5-8 minutes. Then add the salt. Once the pasta is cooked, strain then add to sauce right away, otherwise they'll be soggy and overcooked. Absolutely do not rinse the pasta, you'll lose all the starchiness and your sauce won't stick to the pasta. Serve immediately.
I used a sharp cheddar for the sauce to make it more "American". I've noticed the American version is always very yellow.
To get a homogenous sauce, I always use all my ingredients at the same temperature so make sure you heat the milk in the microwave so it's warm. If you get lumpy pieces, do not hesitate to use a handheld blender.
When the prep is done, I usually sprinkle some grated cheese before adding the bread crumbs. I use a fruity cheese like aged gruyere. For the recipe, I added what I had on hand which is fontina cheese.
The breadcrumbs aren't required but I think they really help bring a crunchy contrast to the soft and creamy texture of the pasta.
To make breadcrumbs, I usually use my day-old baguette that I slice then pulverise through my mini prep or I toast on high mode regular store-bought sliced bread.