Enjoy a hearty, delicious dinner made easy with this 20 minute Spicy Mac and Cheese.
Actually made in under 20 minutes, this spicy cheesy mac and cheese is really one of my best quick recipes. Favorite for me because it is so easy to prepare, and a favorite for my family because it tastes just so good.
It has been so cold and rainy the past few days, and this spicy mac and cheese has really been the perfect comfort food. From the delicious smell of the pasta boiling to the spicy cheese sauce cooking on the stove, this recipe seriously screams comfort food.
MAKING THE SPICY MAC AND CHEESE
I start by putting a large pot of water on the stove and get it boiling with salt before tossing in the pasta. Always make sure that the water is at a rolling boil before adding in the pasta.
Something which I love to do is to add about ½ a teaspoon on dried mixed herbs to the pasta water. As the pasta cooks, it absorbs all the flavor of the aromatic herbs.
Most importantly….NEVER overcook the pasta. It is always better to be undercooked. When the hot sauce is added to the pasta, it absorbs the flavor and warmth of the sauce.
This warm sauce helps to soften the pasta. If the pasta is overcooked, it becomes mushy and does not hold the sauce as well, making it almost tasteless. Just make sure that you follow the pasta cooking time specified on the package before adding the sauce. Stir the pasta a few times as it cooks, so that it does not stick together.
While the pasta is boiling, you can start on making the spicy cheese sauce.
Dice a medium-sized tomato, 2 cloves of garlic and about 8 chives or spring onions. Place a saucepan on the stove and turn up the heat to medium. Add two tablespoons of butter and allow to melt before dropping in the diced tomatoes and chives. Cook for 2 minutes, then add in your spices.
Depending on how spicy you prefer this recipe, add in cayenne pepper or chili powder. I usually put in a teaspoon of chili powder in the sauce. then add a ½ teaspoon of mixed dried herbs and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in 1 cup of heavy/ fresh/ whipping cream and 1 cup of full-fat milk. Add 2 cups of grated cheese and cook for 3 minutes. To help thicken the sauce, I add in between 2 and 2 ½ tablespoons of cornflour/cornstarch.
If you do not want to use cornflour/cornstarch, then add in an extra 1 cup of cheese to the sauce. The more cheese you add, the thicker the sauce will become. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5 to 8 minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a colander, Drain out the cooked pasta, do not rinse it out. Put it back into the pot and pour the hot cooked sauce over the pasta. Stir it in, coating the pasta well with all the sauce.
Top with grated cheese, and allow it to melt over the hot pasta. You can put it into the oven to just crisp and brown the top if you like. I just love it as it is with the melty cheese covering the pasta and sauce.
Garnish with a few chopped chives and serve immediately. Pasta is always best served as soon as it has been cooked. It tends to dry up and sometimes lose its flavor as compared to being served immediately.