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Playing Pimento Cheese and Chorizo Mac, and Late Fall Salad


  • Salt
  • 1 pound macaroni with lines or other short pasta (such as penne or cavatappi, a corkscrew pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 12- to 16-ounce package hot or mild Spanish-style chorizo (a fully cooked product similar in size and texture to kielbasa located in the refrigerated case), casings removed and meat coarsely crumbled or diced (Rach likes Gaspar’s)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • About 3/4 teaspoon cayenne or hot paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar
  • 2 cups grated Manchego cheese
  • 1 8-ounce jar piquillo peppers in water, drained and diced or 2 4-ounce jars diced pimiento peppers, drained
  • For garnish: thinly sliced scallion, cut on an angle and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • For salad: tomatoes, Spanish onion, romaine, and Spanish olives dressed with lemon juice, EVOO, and sea salt (for an entrée)


Serves: 4 to 6 servings, 8 to 10 as a side


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil, one turn of the pan, over medium-high. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the meat is light brown, about 2 minutes; drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven; preheat the broiler.

In a large saucepot, melt the butter with garlic over medium to medium-high heat and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour. When it bubbles, whisk in the milk; season with salt, cayenne, smoked paprika and dry mustard. Whisk until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the cheeses. Add 3 cups of the cheese mixture into the sauce, 1 cup a time, stirring until melted and smooth between additions. Remove from heat and stir in the piquillo peppers.

Mix the pasta and chorizo into the cheese sauce and pour into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese mixture; broil until browned and bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Top with the scallions and parsley. For an entrée, serve with salad.

From Rachael Ray Every Day, November 2017