When I was in Spain I ate many wonderful kinds of cheese, there are many of them available at any good store or gourmet cheese shops. I picked two of the cheeses that I find are the most readily available here. There are so many I encourage you to check them out. The Basque cheese is soft and creamy tasting and the Manchego is nutty and resembles a soft Parmesan in texture, it doesn’t melt like the Basque cheese but adds a nice flavor on top of the casserole.
2 cups Elbow Macaroni, uncooked
1 ½ cups grated P’tit Basque cheese
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup minced red peppers
¼ cup minced onion
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
½ cup grated Manchego cheese
¼ cup finely minced Serrano ham or Prosciutto
Fill pan full of water and turn heat on high. When water comes to a boil add the noodles and let them boil for 15 minutes. While the noodles are boiling make the sauce.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the peppers and onion. Cook about 5 minutes and add salt and flour and blend butter and flour and gradually stir in milk. Stir continuously as mixture come to a simmer. When it thickens remove from heat and mix in grated Basque cheese.
Drain noodles and place in a casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over and stir noodles and cheese sauce together.
Place casserole in a 350 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Then mix grated Manchego and ham together and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake about 10 more minutes, until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned on top.