Spicy Red Macaroni and Cheese
This variation on the classic macaroni and cheese recipe adds the sweet taste and red coloring of tomato paste. Chopped red onion and celery flavors are set off by the fiery taste of crushed red pepper. The sharp Cheddar cheese is complimented by the dry white wine.
Recipe Serves 6 To 8
medium-size elbow macaroni
1. Following package directions, cook macaroni in a large kettle of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and gradually stir in milk, cream and tomato paste. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.
3. Reduce heat and add crushed red pepper, Worcestershire, and 3 cups of the cheese. Stir until cheese melts; add wine. Combine cooked macaroni and cheese sauce; add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Turn into a shallow 3-quart baking dish; arrange bell pepper rings on top, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
5. Bake, uncovered, in a 375° oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Use 3 to 4
quarts of water per pound of pasta. Unsalted water will reach a boil faster than
salted water, so add salt to rapidly boiling water just before adding the pasta.
Use about 1 teaspoon salt for each quart of water.