All of the recipes in Look + Cook stand out to me, but this recipe for Pimiento Mac 'n' Cheese really caught my eye. In this recipe Rachel really spices things up with with a generous dose of paprika and hot sauce. I was a big fan of the spicy undertones in this macaroni and cheese and found myself craving it even after it was gone. This is a fantastic recipe that I will make again in the future. Probably soon!
Pimiento Mac 'n Cheese
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook
1 pound cavatappi pasta (hollow, fat corkscrew-shaped pasta) or elbows (I used mini penne)
1 tablespoon extra virgin-olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (maybe a little more)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sweet paprika, plus additional for garnish
2 cups whole milk (I used 1%)
2 teaspoons hot sauce
3 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
2 (4-ounce) jars pimientos, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf or curly parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to just shy of al dente. Heat a large pot over medium heat with the extra virgin olive oil and butter. When the butter melts, add the onions, garlic, and salt and cook for another minute. Stir in the paprika. Whisk in the milk and hot sauce and bring up to a bubble, then cook to thicken for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and stir in half of the cheese in a figure-eight motion until melted. Add the pimientos. Preheat the broiler. When the pasta is nearly al dente, drain it well and add it to the pot with the cheese sauce. Toss to combine. Then under the broiler, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley and a generous sprinkle of sweet paprika.
This Pimiento Mac 'n' Cheese was February's choice for our Look + Cook Cook Along. For the month of March Brenda has chosen Rachel's Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza on page 213 of the book. If any of you would like to cook along and need the recipe, shoot me an email and I'll be happy to send it to you.