1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi (corkscrew-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 cups whole milk
1 cup chicken stock or broth
3 cups grated smoked Cheddar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped, or 1 tablespoon ground chipotle powder
3/4 to 1 pound chorizo, casings removed, diced
1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
I really like the smokiness of the cheese and tomatoes in this dish. It's a little fatty, but I just love the combination of flavors. I'm having memories of when my mom used to make goulash when I was little. It was basically macaroni with tomato-meat sauce - no cheese whatsoever, but I guess it's the macaroni-tomato combo that reminds me of it.
Anyway, I've made this mac-n-cheese recipe 4 times now and I think I'm learning something. She says "whisk in the flour... whisk together until the roux bubbles up, then cook for 1 minute more." I was following directions to the T, but the roux always clumped together and never even had a chance to bubble up. So this time I just decided to add a little bit more oil. I did 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 1/2 of butter. The roux did bubble, and the sauce thickened in 3-5 minutes like the recipe says, rather than the 5-10 minutes that it's been taking in the other recipes. I think I'll just change it in my book, so that mistake isn't made again.
So I used mild chorizo for this and ground chipotle instead of peppers in adobo. I think that toned the heat down a bit, so it was suitable for me and my little ones. My husband might want to add some cayenne to his plate (he didn't eat with us today since he's in bed with a headache). Other than that, this recipe is self explanatory and I didn't change anything. It's a good variation: A+.
Oh I almost forgot: make sure to drain the chorizo when it's cooked. It's greasy enough as it is. Maybe wrap it in paper towels too.