Bacon-Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese

bacon-pimiento macaroni and cheese

What’s more Southern than macaroni and cheese with bacon and pimientos?

Bacon-Pimiento Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 6 servings
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Ingredients
  1. 5 slices bacon
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 4 cups half-and-half
  5. 3 cups shredded smoked Cheddar cheese, divided
  6. 3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  7. 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  10. 1 (16-ounce) box small penne or elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  11. 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
  12. Garnish: sliced green onion
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler. Spray 6 (1-cup)ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan, and let drain on paper towels. Reserve 1/4 cup drippings in pan; crumble bacon.
  3. To drippings in pan, add butter, and melt over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour until smooth, and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in half-and-half, and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is thickened and smooth. Add 2 cups each Cheddar and Parmesan and next 3 ingredients, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in pasta, pimientos, and bacon. Spoon pasta mixture into prepared ramekins, and top with remaining 1 cup each Cheddar and Parmesan.
  4. Broil for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Garnish with green onion, if desired.
Notes
  1. Get out your box grater, and shred blocks of cheese for this recipe. Your dish will have a creamier texture than if you use packaged shredded cheese, and you’ll also save money since blocks of cheese are cheaper than preshredded.
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