Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category


While we are back to hot and humid weather this week, it’s been kind of a weird summer in Louisville weather-wise. We’ve had a lot of rain and cooler-than-usual temperatures. The sous chef and I have been trying to take advantage of our back deck as much as possible by eating outdoors. What could be better than eating outdoors than eating outdoors with good friends who just moved into the neighborhood?

Chris and I had the good fortune to welcome two good friends into the neighborhood over July 4th weekend. We just bought a house last August and it is difficult to keep yourself well-fed while moving your life from one side of town to another. We invited our friends over for dinner on their moving day to make things a little easier on them and welcome them to the neighborhood.

After much deliberation and a trip to the Beechmont Open Air Market, I decided to use some CSA zucchini in this pasta dish. I also made quick, refrigerator pickles, garlic bread, chopped salad, and raspberry-peach crumbles. The pasta was really good and came together pretty quickly. It was not overly heavy – good for a summer evening, but filling, fresh-tasting, and seasonal. he evening was pleasantly warm, the food was great, and the company was even better. Justin and Mal – we couldn’t be happier to have you nearby (and not just just to help us with home repair issues, Justin).

“Baked Shells with Zucchini, Gouda, and Herbs” from from Faith Durand’s Not Your Mother’s Casseroles

Serves 6

  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 lb. small or medium pasta shells
  • 2/3 c. pine nuts
  • 1 c. plain yogurt ( I used whole milk)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • black pepper
  • 1 1/3 c. grated Gouda cheese
  • small handful of flat-leaf parsley (about 1/4 c.), minced
  • 2 large springs fresh mint (leaves only), minced
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9X 13 in. baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Place the grated zucchini in a bowl and stir in the salt. Set aside.
  3. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Salt generously (maybe 1/4 c.) and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 2 minutes less than recommended by the package directions. Drain, return to the cooking pot, and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add pine nuts. Cook carefully for  2 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan to keep them from burning. Cook until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Stir the yogurt and beaten egg together in a small bowl and season well with black pepper. Drain off as much water as possible from grated zucchini and blot dry with a paper towel.
  6. When pasta has cooled slightly, stir in zucchini, pine nuts, yogurt mixture, and about 1 c. of the grated Gouda cheese. Stir in parsley and mint. Spread in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese on top has melted and pasta is lightly golden. Serve.

Read Full Post »

Between the move, hosting people for the holiday weekend, and cooking for 12 for Memorial Day, it has been a fun, if hectic time. On top of this, I received the the 3rd CSA this week, which included lettuce, Chinese cabbage, zucchini, green onions, broccoli, and… fresh peas! I’ve never cooked with fresh peas before and I was so excited to try them. Plus the meat share came this week and included ground beef, hamburger patties, and beef brats.

I had this dinner planned for a few days. Mint arrived in our CSA last week and I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it, besides mint juleps and mojitos (both of which would make excellent contenders). Amidst all of the craziness, we did have our first CSA-related casualty… we had to throw away two zuchini from last week’s share. We just could not consume them before they went soft.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the combination of smoked paprika, pasta, yogurt, and mint. It sounded simple, and I had everything on hand except the tortellini, so I decided to make it. I then chose to add the peas from this week’s CSA and cut back significantly on the amount of oil in the original recipe. The result was a simple, surprising, fast, and flavorful pasta dish that was ready in 10 minutes, not counting the time it took me to shell the peas beforehand. It was a little dry, which was not surprising at all since I cut the amount of oil, but the flavors were still there. It also felt like a nice accomplishment to use mint, peas, and lettuce, all from the CSA.

Tortellini with Yogurt, Mint, and Smoke Paprika Oil, Adapted from Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease by Rozanne Gold, via this Serious Eats post.

1 lb. tortellini, I used mushroom tortellini from Lotsa Pasta

2 1/2 T. olive oil, divided

1/2 t. smoked paprika

1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed

1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt, room temperature


1/3 c. mint leaves, torn

1 1/2 c. fresh, shelled peas (optional)

If using fresh peas, shell them first.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the tortellini according to package instructions until al dente. Add the peas to the cooking pasta for the last 4 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil with paprika and garlic and set aside. Whisk 1/2  tablespoons of oil with yogurt and season to taste with salt.

When the tortellini and peas are done,  drain well. Add back to the pot. Add yogurt and paprika oil to the pot and stir. Top with mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Read Full Post »

cauliflower mac

The last few months (since the holidays, really) I’ve been trying to eat less and exercise more. I’ve avoided making this the focus of my blog – but I feel some explanation is necessary with this post.

I love macaroni and cheese, as can be surmised by the 4 iterations of it on this blog, five including this one.

Here they are:

resurrection mac and cheese

spicy mac and cheese

cheese pasta with pumpkin and pancetta

simple stove-top mac and cheese

While I’m a firm believer in eating whatever you want in moderation, sometimes having real, full-fat-oh-so-delicious macaroni and cheese is just too much temptation to handle. So when the craving for macaroni and cheese struck recently, I remembered this recipe from Mark Bittman.

This version of mac and cheese relies on mashed cauliflower, mustard, stock, and spices to flavor the pasta, and just a touch of cheese to add additional flavor and creaminess. The pureed or mashed cauliflower mimics a creamier, fattier cheese sauce. “Mimics” is the key word here. While I enjoyed this pasta and found it pretty tasty, it wasn’t terribly filling and was definitely missing a “satisfying” quality. I suppose this might have come from more cheese, or cream, or another source of fatty protein. It was good, but I’m not sure I would make it again. I think I’d rather eat a little less of the real thing, if I could control myself.

“Creamy Cauliflower Mac” from The Food Matters Cookbook, by Mark Bittman

1 T. olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking dish


2 1/2 c. vegetable or chicken stock

2 bay leaves

1 cauliflower, cored and separated into large pieces

8 oz. penne, or other  whole wheat pasta (like shells, ziti, or elbow)

1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese or Gruyere, or another good melting cheese of your choice

1 T. Dijon mustard

1/8 t. nutmeg

black pepper

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 c. or more of bread crumbs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-in square baking dish (or similar size) with a little oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.

While the water is coming to a boil, put the stock with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles start to appear on the sides (after about 5 minutes on the heat), turn off the heat and let stand.

When the water has started boiling, add the cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Scoop the cauliflower out of the water with a slotted spoon and translate to a blender, food processor, or a bowl. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until not yet edible and still a little chalky inside, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse quickly with cold water to stop the cooking. Put the pasta in the greased baking dish.

Remove the bay leaves from the stock. Carefully process the cauliflower with 2 cups of the stock, 1 tablespoon of oil, cheese, mustard, nutmeg, and a dash of salt and pepper. If the sauce seems too thick, add another 1/2 c. of stock. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss carefully. Spread in the dish evenly. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over the top. Bake until bubbling and browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor or blender, you can mash everything together in a large bowl using a potato  masher. It will be less creamy – but will still work.

Read Full Post »

simple stove-top mac and cheese

So the Super Bowl is this weekend. I don’t care much for football, but I do care for an excuse to eat salty, fatty, football food. I will be making a couple such dishes  and thinking about my brother, who LOVES the Packers. This macaroni and cheese isn’t even close to being a dish worthy of the Super Bowl, but it is simplified comfort food that tastes great. Maybe one of these days I’ll get my act together and start posting special-event-worthy cooking adventures PRIOR to the celebration in question rather than after. Oh well. Watch out for the things I made for Super Bowl sometime next month… maybe sooner.

When I was sick last fall and nothing really sounded good to eat – I was craving macaroni and cheese. My favorite macaroni and cheese dishes, which I have outlined here before, are baked dishes of melty, rich cheese. They also tend to require a lot of grating, boiling, mixing, and baking. After on-line searching, I found this recipe for a simple stove-top macaroni and cheese. It didn’t even require a trip to the grocery store. I had cheese, noodles, milk, nutmeg, and dry mustard on hand already.

This method involves cooking the dry noodles slowly in simmering milk with some spices. The milk thickens and the spices create a rich, concentrated flavor, even before adding the cheese. I imagine you could add significantly less cheese to the recipe and it would still turn out well.

One thing to note – the recipe calls for a full teaspoon of salt. This was way too salty the first time I’ve made it. I’ve since made it two more times using about half as much salt and it has been much better.

Here’s my adaptation for this life-changing recipe for simple mac and cheese, from “White on Rice Couple“:

serves 3 to 4 (or two if you are really hungry and don’t care about portion size)

2 c. whole wheat noodles, like penne, macaroni, or shells

2 c. low fat milk – may need a bit more at the end of cooking

1 or 2 t. butter (optional)

1/2 t. mustard powder

1/2 to 3/4 t. salt (start with less, then add more later if needed)

a dash of nutmeg

a dash of cayenne (optional)

1 c. grated cheese in any combination (most recently, I used half Gruyere and half Cheddar, I’ve also used all Cheddar and a little bit of blue cheese – use whatever you have on hand or what you like, but make sure to use a good melting cheese – like fontina, Gruyere, cheddar, or mozzarella in larger quantities than a harder cheese, like Parmesan or Asiago),

Rinse the raw pasta under cold water quickly and let drain.

In a medium saucepan, combine the noodles, milk, salt, butter and cayenne (if using), mustard powder, and nutmeg

Slowly bring the milk and pasta mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Stir frequently as you let the pasta come to a simmer. Keep a close eye on the pasta mixture because the milk can bubble over quickly. Also, make sure you stir pretty regularly so the pasta doesn’t clump together.

Once the pasta and milk starts to simmer, turn the heat down to low. Slowly cook the macaroni in the milk and keep stirring every so often so the noodles absorb the milk. You don’t want to have undercooked pasta and no more milk because it evaporated too quickly.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the milk has fully absorbed and the noodles are cooked. If the noodles aren’t cooked but there is no more milk, add a little more milk and cook for at least 5 more minutes.

When the noodles are done and the milk has evaporated, stir in the cheese. Turn off the heat and cover for five minutes allowing all the flavors to meld, and the pasta to absorb any milk that is left.

Taste again and make sure it is salty enough. Add some pepper and enjoy!

Serve immediately.

Read Full Post »

I’ve spent more time cooking soups and stews this winter than I have anything else… and as soon as I saw this recipe, I had to make it.

It sounded delicious, slow-cooked white beans with caramelized onions, bacon, pasta, and a bit of spinach for some semblance of healthfulness, all in a rich, thick broth. This is a cheap meal, makes a lot, tastes great leftover, and is totally and completely warming on a cold winter night. Really, you have no reason not to make this (like the roasted cabbage). Leave the bacon out if you want to – the broth of slow-cooked beans and onions should be flavorful enough.

When making this one Sunday, I underestimated the amount of time required to cook the beans. I started the stew around 5 and didn’t start eating until 9 – and the beans were still slightly undercooked. If you want this for dinner, start earlier and really cook it slowly, like the recipe tells you to do.

Pasta e Fagioli – Bean and Pasta Stew

Serves about 8

1 lb. dried cannelloni beans, or another kind of dried white bean (I used great northern beans)
5 slices bacon, diced (or substitute 1 tablespoon olive oil for vegetarian version)
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound pasta
5 thyme sprigs
3 teaspoons salt
10 ounces baby spinach

Soak the beans by placing in a large pot. Cover with cold water and let sit for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat. Once crisp, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pour off all put one tablespoon of bacon fat. Cook the onions slowly with 1/2 teaspoon of salt until caramelized and turn golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Add the celery and cook just until the celery is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Remove half of the onion mixture and reserve with the bacon.

Deglaze the pan with one cup of water, scraping up any brown residue that has formed on the bottom of the pan.

Drain the beans and pour them into the pot with the remaining onions. Add the bay leaf and enough water to cover the beans and onions by one inch.

Cover the pot and bake in the oven for an hour. After an hour, check the beans every 15 minutes until they are completely soft. This took a very long time for me – over two hours. Finally I gave up the oven, returned the pot to the stove-top, and cooked the beans that way.

If you haven’t done so already, return the pot to the stove top and set over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, reserved onions, whole thyme sprigs, remaining salt, and pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente. Add more water if necessary.

Add the spinach to the pot and stir until it is wilted. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme stems. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

Read Full Post »

This is now the third iteration of a cheesy baked pasta that I have featured on Thyme and Reason (see the classic, resurrection mac and cheese and spicy macaroni and cheese for more melty, cheesy, goodness). This is also the most gourmet, expensive, and time-consuming to produce. These factors are usually enough to steer me away from trying a new dish – but not this one.

No, not this one. With five different kinds of cheese, pancetta, and squash – this macaroni and cheese caught my eye, and left me craving it for days until I finally gave in and made it. The picture above does not do it justice.

This is a dish to make on the weekend – when you have time to cook the pancetta, roast the squash, shop for the cheese, and then grate the cheese and cook the noodles, then bake everything. But it is worth it if you don’t mind consuming an incredibly rich dish and don’t have a dairy intolerance that is. It also makes a delicious, warm, hearty, perfect-for-fall casserole.

I highly recommend making this. You will not be sorry.

Also – if you notice, the actual amounts of the cheese used isn’t all that much, especially compared to the large amounts used in Ina’s recipe above (resurrection mac and cheese), it is still really rich.

Pasta al Forno with Pumpkin and Pancetta, from Food 52

Serves 6

2  butternut squashes that total 3 to 4 lbs.

salt and pepper

olive oil

1/4 lb. pancetta, diced

1 lb. shells

2 c. milk (the original recipe calls for heavy cream, I used 1% milk with excellent results)

1/4 lb. shredded fresh mozzarella

1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano

1/2 c. grated fontina

1/4 c. crumbled gorgonzola

2 T. ricotta

1 t. dried thyme or 2 t. chopped fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 400. Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Cut into wedges and arrange on one baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Bake for about an hour until caramelized and tender. Remove from the oven and let cool until you can handle the squash without burning yourself.

Meanwhile, cook the pancetta.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Turn up the oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for exactly 5 minutes, drain.

Scoop the squash from the rind to make 2 cups. (In retrospect, I should have peeled the squash before baking it. The original recipe called for pumpkin or squash – which would be much harder to peel). Combine squash with milk in a blender or food processor and puree just until smooth. Scoop out some more of the squash and chop roughly to make a cup and a half. This does not have to be exact.

Combine the squash and milk puree with cheese, a dash or two of salt, thyme, and pancetta in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add chopped squash and pasta and fold until well combined.

Spread the pasta evenly in a casserole dish. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes until browned and tender.

Eat. Enjoy. Don’t feel guilty.

Read Full Post »

Blue cheese used to make my short list of food-I-refuse-to-eat. I really cannot pinpoint when I started eating it, or what prompted my change in taste, but now I love it. Keeping with the eating-pasta-theme, I was craving this pasta dish recently which happens to incorporate blue cheese. I first made it a few years ago when I saw the recipe in the New York Times. It requires few ingredients to make the rich-tasting sauce: milk and blue cheese. Just cook some pasta, add arugula and tomatoes, and dinner is ready. Well, there are a few other steps in there, but really, it is almost that simple.

Pasta with blue cheese, tomatoes, and arugula, from Mark Bittman and the New York Times

2/3 c. whole milk

2/3 c. Gorgonzola, crumbled

1 c. packed arugula

2 c. grape tomatoes

8 oz. whole wheat pasta, any kinda

lots of black pepper

Parmesan cheese, if you like

Cut the tomatoes in half.

Chop the arugula.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a small saucepan gently warm the milk and Gorgonzola just until cheese melts a bit and mixture is thick.

When water boils, cook pasta until it is just tender but not mushy.

Drain and return to pot over low heat.

Stir in milk and Gorgonzola sauce along with arugula, tomatoes and lots of black pepper. Stir to combine, taste and add salt, if needed. Serve immediately, with grated Parmesan if you like.

Read Full Post »

I love noodles cooked in rich-tasting sauces. Whether it is alfredo pastas, flavorful marinaras, pad thai… even macaroni and cheese. There is something quintessentially comforting about pasta in a rich sauce. It is ridiculously versatile too. Noodles-in-sauce-recipes are also dishes I just don’t tackle that often. I think I’m a little afraid of the fat and calories housed within a plate of pasta. Recently, I’ve been moving toward a more, “eat what I want in moderation,” diet. I tend to gravitate toward vegetable-heavy dishes anyway, so I think I eat well (= healthful) in general.

That little bit about my diet is probably more than you wanted to know… and doesn’t even have a whole lot to do with this recipe for rice noodles, except for the fact that this marks the first time cooking Asian-style noodles. This is the first time I’ve cooked with noodles found outside the pasta aisle (I found rice noodles in the international aisle.) I did manage to find brown rice noodles, upping the fiber quotient a bit. This dish was lovely though. Fragrant and flavorful, and not too difficult, as Ms. Katzen promises. You just throw a lot of ingredients in a pot and let it simmer away for a bit, or “steep.” I was happy with the results and it reheated well, making for tasty leftovers. Ms. Katzen did recommend several garnishes for the final dish, including chopped cilantro, chopped roasted cashews, and/or red pepper flakes. I’m usually too lazy for garnishes – I did add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to this dish. I think additional roasted nuts would have made an exceptionally addition though.

Enjoy! And don’t be afraid of cooking rice noodles – though bits did end up all over my kitchen. I think I still have some stray dry noodles trapped on my stove. Small price to pay for a new culinary experience and a tasty dish.

Rice Noodles with Cashew Coconut Sauce from Molly Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven

Serves 4 to 6 (depending on what else you are having)

1 14-oz. can light coconut milk

1/2 c. water

6 slices fresh ginger (1/4-in. thick)

2 T. fresh lime juice

2 serrano chilies, cut in half

6 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 t. ground coriander seeds

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 T. fresh mint leaves

1 t. salt

1 T. sugar or honey

1 c. toasted cashews

12 oz. uncooked rice noodles

3 green onions, finely minced

Combine the coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan. Add ginger, garlic, lime juice, chilies, coriander, cilantro, mint, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil.

Lower heat to low and simmer for ten minutes. Take off the heat and add sugar or honey. At this point, you can let the sauce steep for a few hours or overnight, or you can proceed with the recipe right away.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring cup with spout. Press all of the liquid out of the solid ingredients. Discard solids and remove sieve.

Place the sauce with cashews in a blender and puree until smooth.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain the noodles. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with green onions and all of the sauce. Mix well with 2 forks or chopsticks.

Serve hot or warm.

Read Full Post »

I made this recipe almost a month ago and I really can’t remember what, in particular, drew me to this dish. Perhaps it is because I had most of the ingredients on hand already, and because pasta with vegetables and a little meat is easy, delicious, and versatile. Either way, I recommend it for a quick weeknight meal.

Recipe from Food Matters, by Mark Bittman

Serves 4


1 lb. broccoli

2 T. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

red pepper flakes, to taste

1 t. fennel (leave it out if you wish)

black pepper

1/2 lb. spicy italian sausage (or sweet if you want)

1/4 c. white wine

1/2 lb. whole wheat rigatoni or penne

grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Boil broccoli until crisp-tender, about 4 or 5 minutes. Scoop it out into a strainer and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, crumble the sausage into the pan and cook. Stir occasionally to break up the meat. Brown for about five minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Continue cooking and stirring for another minute or so. Add broccoli and wine and cook, mashing and stirring until broccoli is pretty soft. Turn the heat to low and keep the sauce warm.

Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 5 minutes before checking it. When it is just tender, but not done, drain it. Reserve about one cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the sauce and some of the pasta water to keep the mixture from drying out. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve, adding Parmesan if you want.

I have become a real fan of turkey and chicken sausage lately. It can often be just as flavorful as pork sausage, but is significantly less greasy. I’m also trying to make myself like fennel more – which has a slight licorice flavor to it. That is all for now…

Read Full Post »

spicy macaroni and cheese

Unfortunately for my non-LOST-fan readers, I’m going to bring up the series finale again – kinda.

A small group of people got together to watch the the last episode of LOST, giving me yet another (unnecessary) excuse to try a new recipe. I really don’t like making a big dish of macaroni and cheese for a small group – so this was a good opportunity to make it, and enjoy it, without having to consume all of the leftovers myself.

While the technique of making this is almost exactly like that used for “Resurrection Mac and Cheese,” it has an entirely different flavor profile. It is more in-your-face with the extra spices, and lacks some of the nuance from the other’s combination of Gruyere and nutmeg. The spicy mac and cheese also contains about half as much cheese – but replaces much of that fat and richness with chorizo. Chorizo can be left out to create an equally flavorful dish. I would just up the amount of hot sauce used, or add according to your own taste.

Adapted from “Spicy Macaroni and Cheese,” from the Neelys

1 lb. penne pasta

3 c. cherry tomatoes

olive oil for drizzling

Salt and pepper

1 package chorizo, casings removed and finely chopped – I used 3 links of chicken chorizo to cut down on the fat a bit, can also be omitted entirely

6 T. butter

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

4 c. milk, warm

1 t. dry mustard

1 T. hot sauce

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 c. shredded Monterey pepper jack

1 c. sharp white Cheddar

1 (2.7-oz) can fried onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

First, enlist some help and have him or her grate the cheese while you cook the pasta and get the sauce ready.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander.

Add the cherry tomatoes to a sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, until visibly plump and softened.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the chorizo in a saute pan until crisp. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil. Continue to whisk constantly. Stir while adding the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Stir in the cheese; reserving 1/2 cup for the topping. The mixture will thicken as the heat increases.

Pour the drained pasta into the cheese sauce and mix well. Add to a 3-quart casserole dish. Add the chorizo and roasted cherry tomatoes. Top with reserved cheese and the fried onions. Bake for 35 minutes. Can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking if refrigerated.

I didn’t buy the fried onions at first with the intention of swapping them out for bread crumbs. It made me think too much of green bean casserole my family always has at Thanksgiving. I then ran to the grocery nearby at the last minute and bought them – and they were delicious. Adding a nice fried-oniony flavor, as one would imagine.

This was a hit while watching the emotionally-charged last 2.5 hours of LOST. It may not be the healthiest or most gourmet of macaroni and cheese recipes out there – but it certainly was tasty and satisfying.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »