Recipe by Essie Jane
A great variation on an American Favorite! It caught my eye immediately when I saw it in the April/May 2010 edition of Cook's Country Magazine. I have taken it to a couple of potlucks and it always gets great reviews. Yum..... : )
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, petite
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoons salt to boil.
- When water boils, stir in macaroni and cook until just al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain and return pasta to pot.
- Pour diced tomatoes with their juices over pasta and stir to coat. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat until foaming.
- Stir in flour and cayenne and cook until golden, about 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in half-and-half and broth until smooth.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Off heat, whisk in cheeses, 1tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper (or to taste) until cheeses melt.
- Pour sauce over macaroni and stir to combine.
- Scrape mixture into 13x9 dish and bake until top begins to brown, 15-20 minutes.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.