spicy mac and cheese

There are some crazy things happening with the colors in this photo that I can’t even begin to address:

spicy macaroni and cheese

But I needed it to show you a couple of things.  Like…crackly, cheesy crust. Creamy interior flecked with bits of tomatoes and peppers.

Here’s another one:

uncooked spicy mac and cheese

Oh my.  That’s not helping, is it?

What if I promise you that that big ol’ pot o’ goo transforms into a magical, creamy, spicy, ever-so-addictive-though-you-can’t-quite-put-into-words-why pot of deliciousness given a half hour in a hot oven?  Trust me, it’s one of my favorite foods.

Pasta and cheese will rarely do you wrong.

stirring cheese into mac


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Spicy Mac and Cheese (adapted from Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese via Cooking Light)

yields 6 one cup servings

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar

1 cup cottage cheese

1 cup milk

1/4 cup (1 ounce) parmesan cheese, grated

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)

Bring water to a boil for macaroni and preheat oven to 350. Cook macaroni for about 8 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Meanwhile…if you have a 2 quart pan that can go from stove to oven, put it over medium-high heat. If not, have a 2 quart baking dish sprayed with no-stick ready to go. Add butter to the pan, then onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook about 5 minutes or until onion is softened, stirring frequently. Sprinkle in flour and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes/chiles. Cook for a few minutes until thickened, stirring often. Add cooked pasta, most of the cheddar, cottage cheese, milk, parmesan, and egg, stirring to combine thoroughly.

Top with remaining cheddar (herbed breadcrumbs are a good alternative) and bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbly. Let sit at room temp for about 15 minutes before digging in.

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