Dive fork-first into oodles of noodles baked to bubbly perfection and coated with a to-die-for sharp cheddar cheese sauce in this grown-up mac and cheese. Hot sauce lends a mild heat that’s delectable with the smoky topping. —Barbara Colucci, Rockledge, Florida
- 6 cups uncooked cavatappi or spiral pasta
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
- 4 cups 2% milk
- 6 cups (24 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup cubed process cheese (Velveeta)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
- 3 thick-sliced bacon strips, cooked and coarsley crumbled
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 green onion, chopped
- Coarsely ground pepper, optional
- Cook cavatappi according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, saute garlic in butter in a Dutch oven. Stir in flour and pepper sauce until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Stir in cheeses until melted; add green onions. Drain cavatappi; stir into cheese mixture.
- Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, bacon and melted butter; sprinkle over top.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with green onion and, if desired, pepper. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Creamy Cavatappi & Cheese in Simple & Delicious February/March 2013, p19
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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