Gooey Baked Macaroni & Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Gooey, creamy baked macaroni and cheese with chorizo and roasted peppers, all made in the same dish - no need to boil the pasta separately!
Author:
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chorizo sausage
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 5 serrano peppers (you can use any combination of peppers and any amount, depending on your heat preference)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups full-fat cottage cheese
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 pounds (32 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used a combination of 25% Comté, a kind of Gruyère, and 75% sharp cheddar - just make sure you are using something firm enough to grate and don't go too crazy - the cheeses shouldn't be too pungent)
  • 1 pound pasta shells or elbows
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 500 degrees F. Place your peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the peppers for 15-20 minutes or so, turning frequently so that all sides are roasted, until blackened. Reduce the heat on your oven to 375 degrees F, then place the roasted peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (this helps the skins to be removed). Set aside.
  2. In a large pan, cook your chorizo until no longer pink, breaking apart with a wooden spoon as you go. When cooked, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. When your peppers are cool enough to handle, remove them from the bowl, use your fingers to pop the stems off, remove any excess seeds (but some seeds are fine), and peel off the skins. Chop finely, then add to the cooked chorizo and set aside.
  4. Use 2 tablespoons of butter to grease your 9x13-inch dish very well and set aside.
  5. In a blender, food processor or with an immersion blender, blend together the cottage cheese, milk, dried mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside. Grate your cheese, and put aside ¾ cup of your cheese for topping the dish later.
  6. Add all but ¾ cup of your grated cheese to a big bowl with the cottage cheese mixture, then add in your pasta shells. Add in your chorizo and peppers. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into your buttered baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Uncover your dish after 40 minutes and sprinkle with the ¾ cup reserved grated cheese, then dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cubed butter. Bake again, uncovered, for another 40 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Allow the macaroni and cheese to cool and set a bit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2014/01/14/baked-macaroni-cheese/