As sad as it is to say, summer is wrapping up. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting a bit chilly. There may not be many more opportunities for summertime BBQ's and backyard hang-outs, so now's your chance to wow your friends with a super simple potluck-friendly dish! Let's end the season on a high note!
This recipe for Sriracha Mac 'n Cheese is adapted from the New York Times Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
STAR OF THE SHOW: Baby Clydesdale Sriracha
- 1 pound (elbows, shells, cavatappi, farfalle, fusilli or other short, tube-shaped pasta)
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- Freshly ground pepper
- 12 ounces sharp or white Cheddar cheese, grated
- 12 ounces fontina or Gruyère, grated
- ¼ cup Baby Clydesdale Sriracha
For the topping (optional):
- 1 cup coarse bread crumbs or panko
- 4 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pasta: Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it’s barely al dente. (It should be more al dente than your average pasta: It’s going to continue to cook in the oven.) Drain and set aside.
- Sauce: Heat butter in a medium pot over medium heat. (The pot should be large enough to hold all the pasta when cooked.) Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is foamy and just starting to turn a light golden brown, about 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk to avoid clumping. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly and paying special attention to the edges of the pot to make sure the flour mixture is totally incorporated. Add grated cheese and whisk to blend until the cheese is completely melted. (The sauce will seem thick at first and thin out as the cheese melts; it will thicken while it bakes). Add Baby Clydesdale Sriracha, season with salt and pepper and add cooked pasta, stirring to coat well.
- Topping: Make the optional topping: Combine bread crumbs, melted butter and Parmesan, if using, in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and, using your hands, mix well to ensure the bread crumbs are evenly coated.
- Bake: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (to catch any cheesy drips). Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to a 2-quart baking dish and scatter bread crumbs, if using, evenly over the top. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until macaroni and cheese is bubbling, thickened and creamy, and bread crumbs are evenly golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.