Not your ordinary Mac ‘N’ Cheese

3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 large jalapeno, finely chopped ( I include the seeds. You can discard the seeds if you want a milder version)
1 small Onion, Finely chopped
1 box of Pasta ( I usually use Fusili. Cavatappi or Penne would be great as well)
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Swiss cheese
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
Salt & Pepper
3 tbsp Butter

Bread Crumb topping:
1 cup Panko bread crumbs(Japanese crumbs)
1 tbsp Butter ( soft at room temperature)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
Chives, finely chopped
Red Chilli powder
A pinch of salt

To make the bread crumb topping:

Add the panko bread crumbs to a mixing bowl. Add the butter and crumble it with your hands to incorporate it into the crumbs. Add in the parmesan cheese, chilli powder, chives and a very small pinch of salt. Mix everything well together and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir, and cook until it is al dente. Drain in a colander and transfer the pasta to the baking dish. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat to keep it from stick with each other.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until transparent.Add the garlic and jalapenos and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn’t brown.

Stir in the cream, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced by half(about 10 minutes). Add salt and pepper. Drop the heat to low and stir in all the cheeses. Whisk thorougly and continously until it becomes a smooth sauce. Check for seasoning.

Pour this sauce all over the pasta in the baking dish. Mix well.

Sprinkle the bread crumb topping evenly over the pasta.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown. Serve with any bread of your choice. I served it with Roasted Garlic sourdough bread rolls.

I have entered this post to the “Winter Treat” event hosted by Recipe Center.

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