Beefy Mac and Cheese
- Kosher salt
- 8 oz medium pasta shells
- 3 Tbls. unsalted butter
- 1 small onion - chopped
- 1 Tbls. tomato paste
- 1 Tbls. chilli powder
- 8 oz ground beef
- 2 Tbls. all purpose flour
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 8 oz)
- 2 Tbls. breadcrumbs (preferably Panko)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Bring pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook as directed. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and chilli powder and stir until brick red, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread the mixture in a 3 quart baking dish. Preheat the broiler.
Melt the remaining 2 tbls. butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the milk and reserved cooking water, bring to a simmer and cook, whisking, until thick, 2 minutes. Add 2 cups cheese, the cooked pasta and 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir until the cheese melts. Spread over the beef mixture.
Mix the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the breadcrumbs; sprinkle over the pasta mixture and broil until golden. Top with scallions.