Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
This has to be one of the yummiest macaroni and cheese recipes you'll ever eat, especially if you like some zip to your mac. You can use almost any kind of small pasta shape for this recipe, bow, shells, spirals and penne are good choices.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 cup medium-hot thick & chunky salsa
- 3 cups small shell pasta, shapes
- 2 cups grated monterey jack pepper cheese
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- In a large heavy skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapenos, coriander and cumin, and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. With a whisk, stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly and vigorously.
- Add the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a simmer, then stir occasionally until the sauce is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the salsa and salt and set aside.
- Meanwile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the shell pasta according to the package directions until done. Drain well.
- In a very large bowl, mix together the pasta and sauce, then fold in the Jack and Cheddar cheeses until well combined. Place the mixture in a lightly buttered 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the crushed chips and Parmesan, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the pasta is heated through, the sides are slightly bubbling, and the top is golden brown.
- I like to use pickled, jarred jalapenos because of their consistent heat. You can certainly use fresh or canned, but be sure to take a little taste and adjust the amount to your heat preference.