1 16. oz. box pasta (I like to use cavatappi or penne pasta)
2 Tbls. butter
2 C. milk
8 oz. bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese (+ more grated cheese if you want to use some on top of the casserole for a cheesy crust)
4 oz. Velveeta cheese, cut up into chunks
For the add-ins
1 lb. bacon, diced
5 jalapeños, veins and seeds removed, sliced
Preheat oven to 350º
Cook pasta according to package directions, except cook about 2 minutes less. You want the pasta al’ dente so it will soak up some sauce. Drain when cooked and set aside.
Cook bacon in large saucepan. Remove from grease and let drain on paper towels.
Drain grease from pan (leave about a tablespoon in the pan) and then add jalapeños and sauté a couple of minutes to soften them. CAUTION: turn on your fan! And be careful, the spice will make you cough! Remove jalapeño from pan and set aside with the bacon.
In medium saucepan, melt butter, then add milk and heat.
Add cheeses and continue to heat over medium heat, stirring, until cheese is melted and combined.
In large casserole dish, combine pasta, cheese sauce, bacon and jalapeños.
Top with additional grated cheddar cheese, if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let sit about 5 minutes before serving.
It will look like you have too much sauce when you combine the pasta with the sauce, but if you undercooked the pasta, some of it will get absorbed, yet still be creamy.
You may need a little salt & pepper depending on your preferences.