Last week, we made pasta with a cheese sauce that was delicious. It was ooey, it was gooey, it was cheesy. But I wanted to go for the er. Ooey-er, gooey-er, cheesier. It had to be done. I needed to make a cheesetastic mac and cheese.
We included red onion and green chilies to add a bit of flavor, but overall this was cheese on top of cheese. Awesome.
Cheesetastic Mac and Cheese, serves 4
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 oz can diced green chilies, drained
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 heaping Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 cup skim milk
- 8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
- 2 and 2/3 cup prepared short-cut pasta (we used gemelli)
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare an 8×8 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt to pan and cook 7-10 minutes, until softened and beginning to brown. Stir in green chilies during last minute of cooking. Remove to a large bowl to cool.
- Reduce heat to medium and melt butter in pan. Whisk in flour to form a roux.
- Raise heat to medium-high and carefully whisk in milk, working in 1/2 cup batches. Add all but a medium-sized handful of cheese and stir until melted.
- In a large bowl, toss together peppers and onions, cooked pasta, and cheese sauce. Carefully pour into casserole dish. Top with panko and remaining handful of cheese. Drizzle remaining 2 tsp of oil over the top.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until bubbly and browned.
- cook pasta just to al dente because it will continue to cook in the oven
- don’t burn your roux, but don’t pull it off the heat too early either; the browning gives it flavor
- want more kick? whisk a few tsp of hot sauce into your cheese sauce
What are your tips for really good mac and cheese?