Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
This is a sophisticated version for those who appreciate the cheesy goodness without the processed powdered cheese flavor. You can use macaroni or another small pasta like shells or spirals.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups 2% low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper or 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup pepperoncini peppers or 1⁄4 cup pickled jalapeno pepper, diced (or to taste)
- 3 cups assorted cheese, shredded or crumbled
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
- 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumb
- 1⁄2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- Melt the butter in a heavy skillet.
- Add the onion and saute on medium heat until softened and mostly cooked-about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for one more minute-be careful not to brown the garlic.
- Whisk the flour in.
- Cook while stirring for three minutes.
- Uncooked flour tastes bad!
- Whisk in the milk.
- Continue to stir until the mixture barely begins to boil.
- It should be a little bubbly and beginning to thicken.
- Add the vinegar while whisking-if the milk is hot it won't curdle and the vinegar brightens up the sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you don't want black flecks use white pepper instead.
- Add a dash of Tobasco.
- Taste then add more if you like.
- Stir in the pepperoncinis or jalapenos.
- You need to experiment-make this a few times and decide exactly how much of which pepper you like.
- Stir in your favorite cheeses.
- I like to combine sharp cheddar with a little crumbled bleu.
- Swiss is good for flavor but not texture so blend with something creamy like Fontina.
- Monterey Jack is very creamy but without a lot of flavor so add something sharp and flavorful.
- Pour the macaroni into a large baking pan.
- Pour the sauce over and gently mix.
- Sprinkle the parmesan and bread crumbs on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees until browned on top-about 25 minutes or so.
- Let sit for 10 minutes then serve.
- You may never even consider boxed mac-n-cheese again.
What a great recipe! I used a bunch of little cheese pieces up. I also used up a bunch of pasta that had just a little bit left. It did have way too many breadcrumbs on top, but that is easily fixed. Very yummy, and different every time. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for a great mac and cheese recipe, lots of flavour. The only thing different I did was to place slices of salami on top of the mac before I put the parmesan and breadcrumbs on.
We loved this recipe which I picked to use up lots of bits and pieces of cheese. I ended up using mostly Monterey Jack and smoked mozzarella cheese for scrumptous mac n' cheese. I must admit that we left out the onion, garlic, tabasco and pickled peppers though. A really great change from our traditional. Thanks for sharing this keeper!