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Mac & Cheese with & without Chorizo and brussel sprouts

This is such an easy mac & cheese dish that is creamy and delicious. My older daughter, Daniela, says that mommy makes the best homemade mac & cheese in the world, so that makes me happy . However, for Dave and I, we need to take it up a notch and how better to do that than with CHORIZO! Seriously, Chorizo makes everything better so why not add it to mac & cheese?? What else can make it even better? Adding fresh off-the-cob sautéed creamy corn. After Chorizo and Cheese, a veggie is likely in order, but these brussel sprouts are not just any veggie, they are filled with yummy Chorizo flavors! I have to say…while my younger daughter, Alexa, remained a mac & cheese purist, Daniela tried and loved the chorizo addition so I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Ditalini Pasta
  • 4 Chorizo sausage links
  • 1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & ground pepper
  • 8 oz Shredded Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 quarter Red Pepper
  • 2 Tbls Butter 1Tbls for sauce + 1 Tbls for topping
  • 1 Tbls All Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 slices American Cheese
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheese Blend
  • ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Boil large pot of water and cook the Ditalini according to the package directions. Note: you could do this step ahead and store the cooked pasta in the fridge. Just, run the pasta under water to soften it up again before mixing.
  2. Remove chorizo from casings and put into heated pan and lightly oiled large saute pan. Add chorizo and break it up with a fork or spatula into small bits and cook until browned throughout.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the cooked chorizo out into a bowl and set aside
  4. Leave approximately 3 Tbls of the chorizo bits and oil and add 8oz of shredded brussel sprouts to the hot pan. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of ground pepper and cook on med/high heat stirring occasionally until the Brussel sprouts are all are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside
  5. In the same pot that the pasta cooked in, turn to low heat and add 1 Tbls butter. Once melted, add 1 Tbls flour and whisk with the butter until combined. Cook the flour mixture for a minute, stirring so as not to burn. Whisk in a ½ cup of the milk and once combined into a paste, whisk in another ½ cup and then another ½ cup, then finally whisk in the cup of broth. At this point, you should have a thick soupy mixture.
  6. Break up the 4 slices of cheese and add them to pot whisking them in until they melt. Last add in the 2 cups of shredded cheese. Add the pasta and mix to combine thoroughly.
  7. Pour half of the Ditalini and cheese into one side of a casserole dish. With the remaining half in the pot, mix in half of the chorizo and half of the corn that was prepped ahead. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  8. In a small bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs with 1 Tbls melted butter. Add ½ tsp salt and 1/s tsp pepper. Mix and sprinkle over the mac n cheese. Cook in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes – until toping is golden brown.
  9. Serve & enjoy!