So I had some leftover pork loin and wasn't sure what I wanted to make for dinner. I thought, "Well, I haven't had any cheesy casserole in a long time...why not?" I then thought of different ways to prepare this dish. I opted to just make it plain and simple, but hearty enough to fill my belly (why lie).
4 - 5 pieces of leftover pork (using pork loin)
1 cup onions
9 oz macaroni shells
water (enough for boiling macaroni) about 3 - 4 cups
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup white cheddar
1/2 cup Colby jack
1/2 cup Monterrey jack
1/2 cup Velveeta
1 cup frozen peas
additional paprika, salt and pepper
Preheat your oven at 350 degrees. Then, start with boiling the water in a nice sized pot. I normally add the 1 tsp of salt to the water while it is starting to boil. When it is coming to a rolling boil, add the pasta to the water. I used up half of a box of shells (they only come in 8 or 16 oz). I poured in a little over 1/2 of the box.
Take out the pork loin that I had cooked the previous night before. Luckily, I had enough that I have been giving MC sandwiches and be able to do this dish. Notice that I am also using leftover onions that were cooked with the pork.
Dice the pork and onions. Place off to the side.
Check the macaroni. If it is tender, take off the heat and drain. Since you are using shells, make sure you shake it a little to get rid of any of the excess water that my be lingering. Place back into the pot.
Add the butter, milk and cheese to the macaroni. Start to stir and mix in the cheese.
Mix in the spices after you have added the cheeses. Don't worry if your cheese is not fully melted, it will melt in the oven.
Place the diced pork and onions into an ungreased baking dish. I am using a glass baking dish, so the cooking time might have to be a little longer. Add the macaroni as well. Mix until incorporated well.
Add the peas to the mixture. After you have added the peas, sprinkle paprika to the top of the casserole. I do sometimes add panko to my casseroles, but for this one, I forgo it.
Allow this to cook for about 20 - 30 minutes or until you have a nice crust on the casserole. Serve this with a nice salad and some fresh bread. This is such an easy dish and you can always change it up by adding more veggies or other types of meat.