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Crab Mac 'n' Cheese with Prosciutto & Asparagus

6 oz. uncooked small pasta shells
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 TBSP butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
2 cups shredded Brie cheese
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 lb. jumbo lump crab
1/4 cup chopped prosciutto
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Prepare pasta according to package directions, stirring in asparagus during last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time.
Drain pasta and asparagus.
Melt 4 TBSP butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened.
Remove from heat and whisk in black pepper, cheeses and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Toss pasta with cheese sauce, asparagus, crab and prosciutto.
Spoon mixture into 6 greased ramekins or a greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
Melt remaining 2 TBSP butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Stir in panko and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, tossing to coat. Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.
Bake 40 minutes or until topping is crisp and sauce bubbles.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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