- 16 oz pkg of elbow or penne pasta
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 cups milk
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Velveeta
- 8 oz bread crumbs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp cleaned (optional)
Boil the pasta in water until about three-quarters done or al-dente. Drain and rinse with cool water when done.
Sauce: In a large and deep skillet/sauce pan, heat the butter and oil till it starts to steam but don’t let it scald. Now add garlic, onion and spices and sauté until onion gets soft. Lower heat to medium and add milk and then add flour as the milk starts to heat up, stirring constantly. Once this thickens a bit, add the shredded cheddar or Velveeta cut into cubes. Continue to stir until the sauce is all melted and fully mixed into a nice thick cheese sauce.
Assembly: Spray a light coating of olive oil in a large casserole dish. Spread half of the noodles over the bottom. Arrange shrimp (if used) evenly over the noodles and pour half the cheese sauce evenly over the dish. Add the rest of the noodles over the top and pour the rest of the cheese sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and finally add the bread crumbs.
Baking: With oven preheated to 375, Place casserole on middle rack and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Now increase heat to 425 and bake another 15 minutes or until top of casserole is lightly browned. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.