Mac and cheese has always had a special place in my stomach, and for me it’s the cheese part. Using the right cheese with this meal is crucial; it will enhance your dish dramatically. This spicy fusilli bucati and cheese dish is a homemade recipe straight from our kitchen to yours. I made it by experimenting with different flavors and tasting a lot of cheesy noodles over the years. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Now for our beer selection. Our favorite brew with this meal is the Cali-Belgique Indian Pale Ale from Stone Brewing Co., but there are a lot of brews that would enhance this cheesy dish. Let us know what brew you select to go with this meal. We would love to hear what you have to say.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
12 ounces of fusilli bucati (This would be 3/4 of a bag of pasta that is 16 ounces. It doesn’t have to be an exact measurement. Just eyeball it.)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp of cayenne (you can add more for an extra kick)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika (Normal paprika will work too.)
Dash of pepper, 1/8 tsp or less (This one is optional.)
1/2 medium onion, sweet yellow, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced or crushed with a garlic press
1 cup of milk (You can add more to make it creamier, typically around 1/2 cup. I use 2% milk.)
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded (I use a vintage sharp cheddar.)
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, shredded
Heat a large pot of water for your noodles. When the water boils add the fusilli bucati and cook for 12 minutes or follow the instructions for cooking on your bag of pasta. Drain from water when finished cooking.
Melt the butter in a saute or frying pan over LOW heat. Add onion, mix with butter and cover for about 8-10 minutes. You want your onions to be soft so keeping the moisture in the pan is important here.
Increase the heat to medium-low and add garlic to the butter and onions. Stir for 2 minutes.
Add flour slowly and stir. The mixture will become very pasty and thick. If your mixture gets too dry you can add a little bit of milk, not more than a tablespoon.
Increase heat to medium or medium-high. Now slowly add the milk 1/4 a cup at a time and stir in between each 1/4 cup. You should wait at least 3 minutes in between each 1/4 cup of milk and make sure you stir the mixture well to smooth it out. Sauce should be nice and creamy once you have poured all the milk into the saucepan.
Decrease heat to medium-low and add the cooked noodles. Stir for about 2 minutes, then add the cheddar and parmigiano reggiano cheeses. Stir for about 5-6 minutes or until all the cheese has melted. You can add more milk if you want it creamier, just remember to stir it longer after adding the milk. You want the sauce to heat up enough after adding cold milk.
Add pepper, cayenne, chili powder and paprika and stir until spices have made your sauce orange. You should cook it here for another 3 minutes before serving.