Cook the pasta for 4 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and set aside, reserving 1⁄4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the flour. Whisk together, cooking until the flour resembles wet sand and begins to smell nutty and fragrant. Add the milk, whisking until there is no lumps. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute, stirring often.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Season generously with pepper and add salt to taste (this will depend on the saltiness of your cheese.) Add the pasta and fold together until the pasta is coated, add 1 tablespoon of the pasta cooking water, if necessary, to loosen.
Lightly grease a muffin tin and line each cup with a piece of precooked bacon to come up sides of cup. Spoon mac and cheese into each of the cups and then top with some Italian panko breadcrumbs.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool 5-10 minutes to settle into cups before removing and serving.