Linguine 'n' cheese (mac and cheese)

Back in college, when funds were significantly more limited, my now-husband and I ate a good amount of mac and cheese. To make things more interesting (and gourmet?!?), we would use linguine in place of the macaroni that came in the box. We swore it tasted so much better mixing the powdered cheese with the linguine instead of the macaroni elbows. And so much classier. (I kid, I kid).

I haven’t made that recipe in years (thank goodness), but last weekend when I said I was making mac and cheese for lunch, my husband asked if I could make it with linguine. Why not? Here’s the recipe, it’s definitely one we’ll be making again … yummy and nostalgic.

Linguine & Cheese

Ingredients

1 pound box of linguine pasta
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (preferably from Vermont because we love Vermont)
3 slices of American cheese
dash of Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Panko topping
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup of finely grated parmesan

chopped chives for garnish (and for flavor … don’t skip it!).

Directions


Cook linguine in salted water according to package directions (al dente).

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and whisk to make a roux. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly. Add hot sauce and salt. Allow to thicken, stirring fairly frequently. After about five minutes, remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted.

In a small saute pan, melt butter and add panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Once bread crumbs have browned, turn off heat and set aside.

Toss drained pasta with cheese sauce. Top with browned bread crumb mixture and chives. Enjoy!!