Prep 20 mins
Cook 47 mins
I enjoyed this "peppery" mac and cheese from Bon Appetit. I found the Peppadew peppers at Hillers, a grocery chain near where I live. I used ancho chile powder. Prep time includes rest time.
- 1 seeded red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, halved, divided
- 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 3⁄4 cup drained mild peppadew peppers in brine, 1 Tb brine reserved
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ancho chili
- 1 1⁄4 cups packed coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup packed coarsely grated whole milk mozzarella
- 8 ounces medium pasta shells (or gemelli)
- Bring 1/2 cup water, bell pepper, and 1 1/2 garlic cloves to boil in small saucepan. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pepper is soft, about 15 minutes.
- Toast panko in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 Tb butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Transfer bell pepper mixture to processor. Add Peppadews and 1 Tb brine, 2 Tb butter, ground chiles, and 1/2 garlic clove; then add cheddar and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Blend until sauce is smooth; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400°F Butter 8-cup baking dish (or 6 individual dishes). Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; return to pot. Stir sauce and mozzarella into pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pasta into dish. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
- Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes (15 for individual). Let stand 10 minutes.
I made this exactly as posted, although I can't find any jarred peppadews around here. However, they do have them on the olive bar, so I chose a mixture of red and yellow peppadews. The red had a nice little kick to them when I tasted them, but that didn't translate in the final dish. I also thought the ancho chile powder would add some heat, but again, it was not discernible. This had a strong red pepper/pimiento flavor to it, which we happened to like. I would definitely punch up the heat a little bit, though, next time. Thanks for sharing! Made for Rookie Tag Game.