Home Made Macaroni and Cheese Layered with Salsa ~ Buttered Bread Crumbs
- 1 pound pasta, high fiber penne
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 5 cups 1 % milk, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 12 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅓ cup panko crumbs
- ½ teaspoon taco seasoning , salt free
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup chipotle salsa, or your favorite type
- ½ teaspoon taco seasonings, salt free (see note)
- 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup
Cook penne pasta, al dente, slightly undercooked. In a heavy 3 quart pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour, stir with a whisk 1 minute over low heat.
Add 1 cup of milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt, bring to a boil whisking. The mixture will thicken pretty quickly. Add the remaining 4 cups of milk. Bring back to a boil, whisking, then reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes over low heat, continuing to whisk. Take off heat, add 12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, stir until combined. Add the pasta to the sauce, stir well with a spatula. Make the buttered breadcrumbs: Add panko crumbs to the 2 T. of butter, add 1/2 t. taco seasoning and 1/8 t. sea salt - mix well. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8' x 10" pan that is 3 " high with oil. Or, prepare a pan 9" x 13". Add half of the pasta into the pan. Top with the salsa and sprinkle 1/2 t. taco seasonings. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Add the remaining pasta over the salsa mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Top evenly with the panko crumbs. Cover loosely with foil, bake 20 minutes, will be bubbly. Uncover and cook 10 more minutes, or until nicely golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly. If you wish to serve the macaroni in very even, precise squares, refrigerate until cool, then cup into squares and reheat in the oven.
Choose your favorite type of salsa. I like a roasted, chipotle type with corn.
A smaller baking pan, with high sides creates a deep dish macaroni & cheese.
Seasoning used: Mrs. Dash " Salt Free Fiesta Lime" seasoning.
Great served with Chicken Taco Burger Sliders