I’m on year two of a five year plan that was put into operation about 15 years ago.  I’m a little behind, I’ll admit.  But the plan, the plan is still good.  The plan is to take over the world.  At first I thought I’d do it with my charm and effervescent wit.  But that hasn’t panned out yet.  So now I’m thinking I’ll take a slightly different tack.  I’m going to take over the world through a slow, steady and judicious application of macaroni and cheese.

First, I get the world’s attention with irresistible bacon comfort filled baked mac& cheese.  Then I up the ante with a sophisticated, spring-friendly chicken, spinach and leek concoction.  And now I’m sealing the deal with this sassy chorizo, garlic and broccoli  mac and cheese.  It’s just a little taste of what my reign will be like: a macaroni in every pot.

Well, a penne anyway.  Or a rigatoni.  Maybe shells.  Or spirals.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese
Serves 2 really big portions, 3 regular portions or 4 side portions.

3 c. penne, par cooked.
2 c. broccoli florets
1/4 lb Spanish chorizo, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c. almonds, ground finely
1.5 c. milk
2 tbsp butter
3/4lb sharp white cheddar
hard sheep’s cheese, like Ewephoria, for grating
dash salt
1 tbsp pepper
few dashes of hot sauce

Cook penne according to package directions, adding in the broccoli in the last two minutes of cooking.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Add chorizo to a medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook until warmed through and the oil starts to leak out, about 2 minutes.  Add in onion and garlic and let cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Set aside.

Drain pasta and broccoli.  Set aside.  In the pasta pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add in two tablespoons of the ground almonds and stir into a rough roux.  Add in the milk, salt, pepper, hot sauce and all but a couple ounces of the cheddar and stir together until the cheese has melted.  Fold in the rest of the ground almonds, the chorizo mixture, pasta and broccoli.

Spray two personal-sized oven-safe gratin dishes with baking spray (or several smaller ones or one big one).  Spoon mac&cheese equally into the dishes.  Top each with half the leftover cheddar and then grate a big of the hard sheep’s cheese over them as well.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10.  Replace the foil and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

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