Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Do not overcook. Follow the package instructions for estimated cook time.
Drain pasta well and move pasta to a large bowl.Mix with basil and any protein such as sausage, chicken, shrimp or crab, set aside.
For The Cheese Mixture:
Add evaporated milk and whole milk into a large bowl. Add paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper, whisk to combine. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Once satisfied with the flavor, add the eggs and beat well until the mixture is combined.
Set aside 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, ½ cupMonterey, and ½ cup parmesan. Add remaining cheese to the milk mixture and stir well.
Assembly of the Mac and Cheese:
Pour cheese and milk mixture into macaroni and mix well. Transfer to a greased baking pan. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with more basil, salt, pepper and paprika, as well as optional Cajun seasoning.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden. Cover with foil at about the 35-40 minute mark to keep the top from becoming too crisp. Remove from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes to allow it to set before serving.
We highly recommend tasting the milk mixture and altering the spices to your liking. The recipe and amount of spices has be created to my family’s liking and you might prefer more punch to your dish. For the evaporated milk, you can use anywhere from 2 to 2 2/3 cups. I used 2 2/3 cups because our family likes it really creamy.
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