2cupswhite cheddar cheeseshredded, or Jalapeno white Cheddar for more spice
3cupswhole milkor 2 cups milk, 1 cup pasta water for lower calories
4oz.cream cheeselow fat
2large jalapeñosone diced with seeds off, one sliced
1cuppanko bread crumbs
Preheat oven at 375 F.
Cook pasta al dente according to package direction. About 6-7 minutes.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tbsp. of butter and add in the panko crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the butter and continue mixing over medium low heat until the crumb are "lightly" golden brown in color. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate or bowl. Clean the skillet with a paper towel to remove any leftover crumbs.
In the same skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tbsps. of butter and add in the garlic and diced jalapeno to sauté for a minute or two. Then add in the flour and whisk well with the butter to obtain a nice smooth pasty texture.
Pour in the milk and continue whisking for a minute until any lumps of flour are completely gone. Add in the salt, black pepper and onion powder and cream cheese. Mix well to combine.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to thicken up a little while you continue to mix slowly for a couple of minutes.
Add in the white cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and mix to combine well until the cheese melts completely and sauce thickens up. Pour in the pasta, sliced jalapenos and mix to coat well with the cheese sauce.
Pour the pasta into a baking dish or keep in the same skillet if skillet is oven proof to make it a one pot dish.
Top the pasta with the breadcrumbs mix and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving. Garnish with some freshy chopped parsley and sliced/ diced jalapeno peppers.