Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Undercook the pasta by 1 minute. It will continue to cook in the creamy sauce while the crumb topping toasts under the broiler.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 8 to 9 inches from heat.
2. Bring 1/4 cup salt and 4 qt. water to a boil in a large covered Dutch oven over high heat.
3. Meanwhile, microwave milk in a microwave-safe 1-qt. glass measuring cup covered with plastic wrap at HIGH 3 minutes. While milk is heating, melt butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a low boil, whisking often.
4. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook 8 minutes.
5. While pasta cooks, sauté chorizo in 1 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until crumbled and cooked.
6. Meanwhile, continue to cook sauce, whisking often, 6 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cheeses, hot sauce, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover.
7. Stir together crushed tortilla chips and 2 tsp. olive oil.
8. Drain pasta, and fold into cheese sauce. Fold in cooked chorizo and cherry tomato halves. Sprinkle with tortilla chips mixture.
9. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Serve immediately.