Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
I love Lobster Mac and Cheese, but it is just too expensive. So this was my answer. However I like to add a few different cheeses to mine, celery for some crunch and pancetta for extra flavor with a cracker crumb topping.
Shrimp and Pasta Mixture
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 1 lb medium shrimp, rough chopped (use any size you can get)
- 1 cup pancetta, diced and sauted (bacon is also a good substitute)
- 1 medium onion, diced fine
- 2 celery ribs, diced fine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 2⁄3 cups milk
- 1 2⁄3 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄2 lb gruyere cheese, grated (you could also use swiss cheese)
- 1⁄2 lb monterey jack cheese (grated)
- 1 lb white cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 1 cup cracker crumb (I used Ritz)
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Sauce -- In a medium pot on medium heat, add the butter and melt, then add the flour and mix well to make a roux. Slowly add in the milk and bring to a low boil to let the sauce thicken. Then add in the cheeses, salt, pepper and cajun seasoning to taste. Cook just until melted.
- Pancetta -- In a medium size saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and saute the pancetta. NOTE: If using bacon, skip the butter, the bacon has enough fat. Saute until golden brown.
- If you are using the bacon, reserve 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings and omit the butter when sauteing the shrimp and vegetables.
- Vegetables and Shrimp -- Now, to that same pan add the vegetables and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Then add the shrimp and stir just to mix everything together. Remove immediately, the shrimp will continue cooking in the oven.
- Pasta -- Cook the pasta according to directions - al dente, drain well, return to the pot.
- Combine -- In the pot with the pasta, add the shrimp and vegetable mixture, the cheese sauce, bacon and mix well. Pour into a 13x9 casserole dish lightly sprayed with pam or a non-stick spray.
- Topping -- Melt the butter in a measuring cup in the microwave and add the cracker crumbs and parsley and mix well. Top over the casserole dish.
- Bake -- In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake the dish covered for 20 minutes, uncover and cook another 10-15 until golden brown and bubbly. Remember everything is already cooked, it doesn't take too long. Enjoy!