Sausage and jalapeño mac and cheese
This is by far the most requested recipe on my blog. This is also the recipe that I make almost every alternate day because my son LOVES mac and cheese. And what’s there not to love? It’s just pasta, lots of cheese and a good white sauce. The best thing about mac and cheese is how versatile it can be. You can swap the pasta for some healthier grains or whole-grain pasta, add meats or vegetables, use healthier or lactose-free cheese options, make it spicy or not, gooey or not…The possibilities are endless.
The only tricky thing is that you have to pick a cheese that melts well. So, cheddar, gouda, fontina, gruyere, parmesan, or even the regular Amul block cheese works great. You can also use flavored or smoked cheese. I like to mix two or three kinds for the best flavors. You also have to be really attentive while making the cheese sauce. You cannot leave the sauce unattended for even a second. Follow these steps and you will become a mac and cheese pro in no time. It’s really easy!
P.S: I love jalapeños in my pasta. Sometimes I roast the peppers before adding them to the dish.
SAUSAGE AND JALAPEÑO MAC AND CHEESE
- Wire whisk
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500 grams elbow macaroni or whatever kind you have available
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk or any kind you have available
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- 2 cups fontina/gorgonzola/gruyere/pepper jack or whatever cheese you have available, grated
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 2 jalapenos chopped
- 2-3 cooked sausages optional
- 1 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup parmesan grated
- Cook the pasta one minute shy of al dente according to the package instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and place in a large bowl. Reserve some pasta water for the sauce.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the chopped onions until translucent.
- Add butter. Once it has melted, whisk in flour and continue whisking until golden and bubbly; about a minute.
- Gradually add in the milk and conitnue whisking until nice and smooth, takes about 2 minutes. Whisk in salt and pepper.
- Whisk in grated cheese in three batches. Sauce should be nice and thick. If it is too thick, you can use some of the reserve pasta water.
- Stir in the cooled pasta until combined and pasta is fully coated with the cheese sauce.
If adding sausage and jalapeno
- Heat remaining oil in a pan and saute the sausage and jalapenos over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes. Add to the pasta.
- Pour cooked mac and cheese into a grased baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and salt. Sprinkle over the top and bake at 350 degress F until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.