Habanero Basil Mac and Cheese

It's been awhile since I made mac and cheese on here! I had some close friends over this weekend for summer foods, and we made ribs, corn and mac and cheese, and everyone had lots of fun and ate until they were bursting at the seams. I wanted a nice spicy mac and cheese because I looked at my archives and I haven't really made many spicy versions of the dish. I like the flavor of basil with habanero so that was what I based the dish around. I served it to a bunch of spicy food lovers, and a couple people who like things mild, and surprisingly they all loved it! Some just had a harder time eating it than others.
Lots of habaneros in with the butter.
Milk, scallions, and cheese next.  Yum.
Then the pasta goes right in.  Add the basil too.  This is so good!
The habanero gives it that trademark tropical spice flavor, and the basil and scallions add a little sweetness for balance. The scallions also add a needed freshness and crunch.  The pasta is super creamy and cheesy, and all the dairy helps keep the heat under control.
So good!  The people in the group that didn't like spicy food still somehow ate a decent amount of this, but they were crying while doing it.
The rotini is perfect for the cheesy sauce because it really holds so much of the sauce in the groves.
So creamy!

Habanero Basil Mac and Cheese

  • 1 Pound Rotini Pasta
  • 3/4 Pound Cheddar
  • 3/4 Pound Jack Cheese
  • 1.5 Cups Milk
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 5 Habaneros
  • 1 Bunch Scallions
  • 25 Leaves Basil

Instructions

  1. Chop the basil and scallions. Remove the seeds from the habaneros and mince. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Meanwhile, melt the butter and cook the habaneros in the butter. Add the milk and then stir in the cheese. Keep the burner on low to just gently melt in all of the cheese and form a smooth sauce. Add in the scallions. When the pasta is ready, add it to the sauce directly from the boiling water. Stir well and remove from heat. Stir in the basil. Serve!