Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon & Pimientos

Every single Christmas, we had a Southern family friend “Donna” who made Mac and Cheese with pimientos and olives. This is the closest I could get to Donna’s recipe. It’s not written down anywhere but this is a close match. I’ve also made this with the addition of diced green chiles, I highly reccomend that if you’re a fan of a little heat. 

You’ll Need:

1 box cavatappi pasta, cooked and drained

5T unsalted butter

4T all purpose flour

4C 2% milk

1/2 tsp (each) salt & pepper

1 1/2 lbs shredded sharp cheddar cheese (aka 2 1/2 bags of those 8 oz shredded cheese bags at the grocery store)

1T Worcestershire sauce

1T hot sauce (use less if you want less heat, either way it’s very subtle)

1c panko bread crumbs

1 jar fancy pimientos (there’s legit a Goya brand called “fancy” pimientos lol), diced

1C bacon, cooked and chopped

2T fresh scallions, chopped

Let’s Make It:

1 – Melt butter in a big pot, reduce heat to medium-high. Add flour and stir, stir, stor. Stir for two minutes.

2 – Whisk in the milk, bring to a simmer. Simmer & stir for 5 mins. Take off the heat.

3 – Add cheese, hot sauce, Worcestershire, S&P. 

4 – Fold in pasta & pimiento. Sprinkle panko on top. Broil for 1 minute and be careful to watch it (neve step away from the broiler!) 

5 – Garnish with scallions, bacon and more pimiento. Tip~make this the night before! It tastes even better after the ingredients “set” the sauce will become thicker creating that perfect Mac & cheese texture. Enjoy!

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