I have a macaroni and cheese obsession. Actually mostly just a cheese obsession. It's hard to describe to people just how much I love cheese, but I think Hannah Hart from My Drunk Kitchen describes it the best.
Is this a little southwestern? Maybe. Did I do that on purpose? Not really. Were the ingredients dictated by what was available in my very sparse refrigerator? Yes, Definitely. So, even if you try to be creative, you still end up inside the box it seems. But it tastes really good in any case. And it has cheese. SO THERE.
-8 ounces of dry pasta (macaroni, penne, wheels, etc.)
-1/2 lb of mushrooms (button, portabella, etc.) - sliced
-1 cup chopped fresh parsley (cilantro would work nicely as well)
-1/2 cup chopped roasted green chile (I used canned)
-2 Tablespoons butter + 1 Tablespoon
-2 tablespoons flour
-2 cups milk
-1/2 cup yellow onions, finely diced
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1 egg (lightly beaten)
-1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, etc.)
-salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain pasta and return to pot (no heat).
In a small pan, saute mushrooms in 1 Tablespoon melted butter over medium heat until mushrooms are soft and golden brown.
In medium pot, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown and smells like pie crust. Stir in the milk, onion, and paprika. Simmer (do not boil) for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Take of the heat and temper in the egg. Add 3/4 of the cheese and whisk until melted.
To the pot with pasta, add the mushrooms, green chiles, and parsley. Toss to combine. Add the cheese mixture and toss to coat evenly. Pour the pasta into an 8-by-8 pyrex baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 min. until the top is golden brown and slightly crispy.