As you can see, I have a way with cheese. Yet another creamy cheesy delicious recipe. Im not that good at recipe writing so please excuse my lingo here. It looks like a really big complicated thing but its really not, and it tastes wayyy better than anything i have ever made from a box. Its worth the time to make something tasty for your family. They will thank you!
Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees
2 1/2 Cups Elbow Macaroni
1 Egg, scrambled
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Diced Onion
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
Red Pepper Flakes to Taste (i do like 4 big shakes)
2 Tbls Flour Heaping
2 Cups Milk (I use 1%)
1 Cup Reserved Cooking liquid from pasta
5-6oz Cheddar Cheese Shredded
1/2 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs, i like Italian style
3/4 Tsp Chili Powder
1/2 Margarine, Butter or Shortening
Boil your pasta according to package directions, make sure to salt your water if you want your pasta to taste like anything. The general rule is to salt it like the ocean, please use kosher salt for this. Because of the cheese in this recipe i suggest slightly less. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid just before you drain your pasta and set both aside.
The Sauce: Put in a small saucepan the olive oil or other oil. heat on medium to medium hi temp and add your diced onions and red pepper flakes and 1/2tsp kosher salt, saute till the onions are softened up for the most part. For this next part i recommend using one of those rubber scraper type spatula deals. We are gonna make a ROUX!! I think that's what it's called officially but don't let it scare you away from this recipe. To your oily situation you are going to add your 2 heaping Tbls of flour. You are going to mix it all around with your rubber scraper and you are going to mash down those little flour lumps with your spatula. mixing mixing mixing, smoothing smoothing smoothing. At first you will notice that uncooked floury smell, once you cook it for a couple minutes and incorporate all the flour into all the oil mixture you will notice that smell will dissipate. Now add your milk about a little at a time. Add a little and mix it all really well together, cook for a minute till bubbly (at this point i get out my whisk) mix mix, add, mix mix add. When you have about half of it in there it will look like your making mashed potatoes, this is totally normal. Keep mixing. Once all your milk is added let it bubble along a couple minutes and add your cheese choice. mix mix mix. it will get really thick, add about a 1/2 cup of your reserved cooking liquid (or the same amount in milk if you don't mind) Work quickly here and be very attentive. Kick that temp back to medium once this all bubbles up. Make sure to stir every couple minutes.
Crumb Topping: Now this works like making any crumb topping for pies etc. Mix all your crumb ingredients into a bowl and fork around it to create crumbs.
Add your sauce to pasta and mix really really well. Right at the end add your scrambled egg and stir really vigorously so it doesn't cook. Pour your pasta and sauce mixture into a semi flat dish (mine was 8 1/4 inch Pyrex) even it out and sprinkle on your crumble topping. Place in your oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till the crumb topping darkens up a bit and the sauce gets bubbly. Enjoy! About 8 side dish servings or 4 main dish portions.
I like to do the red pepper flake and chili combo for this but if you like a savory 'situation' you might try and add some thyme instead. Get creative with things you know you like and you will not be disappointed. You could skip the red pepper flakes and chili powder all together and sub the cheddar cheese for pepper jack! That would be spicy and delicious!
I hope you will all try this recipe and let me know how it is, if you have any questions just shoot me an email and i will try and clear up any confusion. firstname.lastname@example.org
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