Use only half of a can of chopped jalapeno peppers if you'd like a milder mac and cheese, or use mild green chiles or a combination to replace the jalapenos. For more heat, add part pepper jack cheese with the cheddar!
I used ditalini in the recipe pictured, but elbow macaroni or mini penne pasta would work well, too.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, ditalini, mini penne, or similar pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
- 1 package (approx. 5 ounces) Boursin cheese, garlic and herbs, pepper, or roasted pepper flavor
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 can (4 ounces) chopped jalapeno peppers, undrained, or less, as desired
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh fine bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Grease a 2-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350° F (180° C/Gas 4).
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add the flour and cook, constantly stirring, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the milk or half-and-half and Boursin cheese. Cook, stirring, until hot and thickened.
- Add the cheese and peppers. Cook and stir constantly until the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Combine the sauce with the pasta and stir to blend. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
- Toss melted butter and bread crumbs together until the crumbs are thoroughly coated; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Tips and Variations
- Jalapeno peppers are relatively mild when compared with other hot chile peppers, but the heat intensity can vary somewhat. Add as much or as little as you like, or substitute milder chiles for all or part of the jalapenos.
- Use shredded pepper jack or a Mexican blend of cheeses instead of the cheddar cheese.
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