I love mac and cheese and trying different varieties. I do have a favorite, which my friends have begun to refer to as Christin’s mac and cheese, and I love that. However, I can’t let that stop me from making other kinds of mac and cheese, so when I saw this recipe pop up on the Epicurious app, I knew immediately I had to make it.
The ingredients for the Pimiento Mac and Cheese felt a little strange to me and the process of making it was different than other mac and cheeses. There is no milk nor is there any flour, which was surprising to me. I think the mozzarella was used instead of milk, which made it cheesier. Yum!
Ok – you can get the recipe here (or in the link above), but here is my description with some pictures along the way.
You start with chopping you red pepper and then boiling (with 1/2 cup of water) the chopped pieces and 1 1/2 cloves of garlic. Once it boils reduce the heat and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
While that is happening, start toasting you panko and grate your cheeses. I grated a whole block of cheddar, a little more than half of a ball of mozzarella, and a stump of parmesan.
When the panko is toasted, remove the crumbs to a bowl. Let them cool a bit and then add half of your parmesan and some chopped up butter. Roll the butter around to get the panko to coat the pieces.
About now your pepper/garlic is probably done. Pour the pepper mixture into a food processor. I started my water for the pasta now on the same burner and it boiled in no time so I added my medium shells. Now add to the food processor, a large pat of butter, 1/2 clove of butter, 1 tablespoon peppadew brine, peppadew peppers, parmesan cheese, and a handful of cheddar cheese. Run you food processor. The recipe says the sauce should be smooth, but I don’t know if mine would be considered smooth.
Once the pasta is done, drain and return to pot. Pour in the pimiento cheese sauce and stir quickly. This is also where you add the mozzarella cheese and stir until it is combined.
I threw on the extra grated cheddar cheese before the panko topping for some bonus cheese to my super cheesy mac and cheese.
Bake this at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. The recipe says until the cheese is bubbling, and my cheese was indeed bubbling. The pictures were cutting it so I tried to take a video of the serious bubbling.
The final product was pretty good. It was sweet but with a spicy kick and a crunchy topping. I would say if you like red peppers and cheddar cheese then you will enjoy this.