*I would use a bit less pasta, maybe 5 cups, because I like lots of sauce.
**Fresh herbs are best of course but dried works fine too.
***4 Pieces of bread ripped up.
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until just done. strain and toss with a light coating of olive oil. set aside or refrigerate. (This step can be done one day in advance.).
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil in a small skillet and sauté onion for 5 minutes. add half of the minced garlic, 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt and sauté until the garlic turns golden. transfer to a small bowl and stir in half of the chopped herbs. Set aside.
Next, make a roux for the cheese sauce. Gently heat the milk and keep it warm. Set a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk constantly as the flour and butter turn golden. Gradually add the warm milk and 1 tsp (5ml) salt and whisk thoroughly. heat until the sauce thickens (about 10 minutes). Add the sautéed onion/herb mix, grated cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Season to taste.
Finally, make the topping. Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining garlic, herbs, Parmesan, pine nuts, 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt, plenty of cracked pepper and the remaining 3 tbsp (45ml) olive oil. Mix together thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To assemble, combine the noodles and cheese sauce in a large bowl and mix well. pour into an oiled 8 x12-inch dish.* Scatter the topping over the entire surface, working some of it into the noodles. Bake uncovered until golden and bubbly (about 45 minutes). Serve piping hot.