Despite having just recently posted a mac and cheese recipe, I wanted to get this recipe up prior to Turkey Day. During a recent twitter chat (#turkeytalk), I recommended this dish as a side dish and a dish for the Vegetarians at your table. This is a take on a delicious version found in Ann Arbor Michigan at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. I have had numerous meals there, and none of them disappoint. One of their specialties is a pimento mac and cheese and I was actually able to find their recipe for the pimento cheese.
All I did for this recipe was substitute the pimento cheese for cheese I added to the bechamel sauce. I will post the entire recipe here again, including the pimento cheese. The recipe calls for a lot of mayo, so its not the best on its own, but I think if you wanted to make it as a spread, swap half the mayo for a creamy whipped cream cheese. I also used the olive oil mayo. I also took a shortcut and didn’t boil the milk with bay leaves. Without further adieu…
1 pound pasta, I used Penne
1 1/2 cups milk (low-fat is fine too, and I even used lactose free)
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Pimento Cheese (Recipe Follows)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs (fresh or store bought if necessary)
Preheat oven to 400. Bring a large of water to boil, seasoned well with salt.
Cook pasta about 2-3 minutes less than the directions on the box say, until very al dente. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain well and place in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter. When the butter starts to foam, add flour and whisk to mix. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 4-5 minutes, until it begins to brown. Add about 1/4 cup to butter/flour mixture. Whisk well and once it becomes smooth, add a little more milk at a time, whisking, almost like making risotto. Once milk has been added, mix in pimento cheese.
Pour sauce over pasta and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 baking pan (dutch oven works too). Top with bread crumbs and cook 15-17 minutes, or until bubbling and browned. Serve hot. Enjoy!!
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 pound sharp cheddar, grated
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced
3/4 teaspoon juice from canned roasted pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fold all ingredients together in a small bowl.