Mac n’ Cheese, yes please!

24 Apr

I think it’s funny that most kids love mac n’ cheese because usually, they are talking about the boxed mac n’cheese unless their momma is a pro chef. Like most kids, I too loved the simple pleasures of Kraft’s mac n’ cheese. It wasn’t until my taste buds started to develop that I realized mac n’ cheese can be a gourmet delight! With a little experimentation and research, I found this upgraded version to suit my new palette. 

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Did you hear about the explosion at the French cheese factory? The only thing left was da brie.

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Ingredients: Serves 4-6.
  • 1 pound cavatappi (you can use whatever pasta shape you like; I don’t like the small macaroni b/c I feel that it makes the dish mushy)
  • 6 tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. minced rosemary leaves
  • 1 minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce (You can buy chipotle chile in adobo sauce in a can; it comes with about 4 chiles but I only used one. You can use more depending on your taste buds)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 8 oz. grated smoked cheddar
  • 8 oz. grated mozzarella
  • ¼ cup regular bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • salt
  • oil
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the cavatappi according to package directions. (It will bake more in the oven, so don’t overcook it.) Drain after cooked.
  2. Transfer cavatappi back to the pot and toss with 2 tbsp. of butter.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  4. Melt the remaining 4 tbsp. of butter in saucepan over medium-low heat.
  5. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until all ingredients are mixed.
  6. Increase heat to medium-high.  Add milk and stir until completely mixed.
  7. Add onion, smoked paprika, rosemary, chipotle, oregano, and nutmeg. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk in grated cheeses, a handful at a time, stirring each addition of cheese until melted.
  9. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning to your preference. *Remember that the sauce should be pretty intense, because it needs to flavor a full pound of pasta.
  10. Stir macaroni into the sauce.
  11. Pour macaroni into the baking dish.
  12. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the top.  Add more if you like it crunchy (like I do).
  13. Bake on the top rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take out of oven and use a spatula to lift the bottom layer to make sure the pasta doesn’t burn for the remaining bake time.
  14. Bake on bottom rack for 15 more minutes or until bread crumbs are nicely browned.
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary.

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buon apetito!

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food is so beautiful

step 2

step 3: greasin’

step 4

step 5

step 6

step 7: it’s like holi!

my professional mixologist ❤

step 8: cheese please!

post-step 8: the color your cheese should be

step 9

step 11

step 12

the final product!


2 Responses to “Mac n’ Cheese, yes please!”

  1. zrohit April 24, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    maybe you should call it “Yummy Mac and Cheese”

  2. Anjali May 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Awesome recipri! I made the mac and cheese a couple of days ago, and it was delicious! The spices we mixed into the sauce added a lot more flavor than any other mac and cheese I have ever had, and the seasoned bread crumbs which we baked on top gives it a really good flavor and texture! It is very easy to make for all you beginner cooks out there like myself. I would definitely make it again sometime!

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