recipe make-over: chorizo mac & cheese

I adapted this recipe of Rachael Ray’s.  It sounded delicious, rich and oh so different.  If you aren’t familiar with The Rach, she is not bashful with cream, cheese, butter, etc.  To a certain extent, I’m not either, but I did want to up the health-factor and lessen its damage a bit.  My tester thought that I should have added more cheese, but I think that the spiciness of the chorizo made up for it. Here is what I came up with:
 
Chorizo Mac & Cheese
 
  • 10 oz 100% whole wheat gobbetti (hollow corkscrew noodles)
  • 4 chorizo links, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. bag of petite peas
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used aged gouda & swiss)
  • salt, pepper and 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • chopped cilantro, optional

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.  Microwave peas until warm. Saute the sliced chorizo until browned and set aside.  Add the olive oil to the pan used for the chorizo and saute the garlic, shallot.  Add broth and season with salt, pepper and mustard powder, cook for about 2 minutes.  Add peas, red pepper and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Stir until melted.  Put pasta into a glass pan and stir in the pea mixture.  Sprinkle the chorizo and the remaining cheese on top.  Broil until cheese has melted.   Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.  Serves 4.