Recipe courtesy of Porch Light Latin Kitchen

Sofrito Mac 'n Cheese

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Sofrito Bechamel:

1 quart whole milk

2 pinches kosher salt, or more as needed

1 cup Sofrito, recipe follows

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and softened 

4 ounces all-purpose flour 

2 cups Chihuahua cheese or low-moisture mozzarella, shredded 

Noodles:

2 cups dry elbow noodles

Kosher salt

Sofrito:

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped

1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped 

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 

1/2 medium Spanish onion, peeled and roughly chopped 

1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves, roughly chopped 

2 to 4 ounces olive oil 

Kosher salt

Directions

  1. For the sofrito bechamel: Add milk, salt and Sofrito to a 2-quart saucepot. Stir together over medium heat and bring to a boil. Drop the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes to really allow the sofrito to infuse into the milk.
  2. Meanwhile, make a roux: Melt the butter in small saute pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour while whisking. Cook, whisking constantly, to encourage a uniform texture and to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the mixture is a light brown or blonde color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the roux into the saucepot with the milk and sofrito, whisking vigorously so there are no lumps. Once the mixture is smooth, add the cheese to the sauce and stir to allow it to melt into the mixture, 3 to 5 minutes. Once the cheese melts, remove the pot from the heat and salt to taste.
  4. For the noodles: Cook elbow noodles in salted water according to the directions on the box, then drain the pasta well. (If it is too wet, the bechamel won't stick to the noodles.)
  5. Return the noodles to the pot they were cooked in. Pour bechamel over the pasta and gently stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the pasta is well coated. Serve hot.

Sofrito:

  1. Place the red bell pepper, poblano, garlic, onion and cilantro into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to break things up, then turn it on continuously. Slowly pour in the olive oil while blending, until you have a smooth puree that isn't too oily. Then blend with a touch more oil until smooth. Reserve.

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