Classic mac and cheese gets a touch of Southern charm when the flavors inspired by pimiento cheese are added. Flecks of roasted bell pepper, a little mustard powder and cayenne for zip, and a good amount of sharp cheddar cheese made up the flavor base. And since this mac and cheese is baked in the oven, adding eggs, sour cream, and a little grated onion ensure there will be no dry scoops on plates come dinnertime. 

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously brush a 2 1/2-to-3-quart baking dish with butter. Char red pepper over a gas flame on high (or, if you don't have a gas stove, on a rimmed baking sheet directly under the broiler) until blackened all over, 6 to 8 minutes.

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  • Transfer peppers to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes. Rub charred skin with a paper towel to remove. Peel, seed, and stem pepper, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

  • Cook macaroni in a pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain well; transfer to prepared baking dish. Mix in cubed cheese and 1/2 cup roasted red pepper (reserve remainder for another use).

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg. Whisk in sour cream and eggs until smooth, then onion, half and half, cream, and Worcestershire until thoroughly combined. Pour over macaroni mixture; gently shake dish to blend. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over top.

  • Bake until set around edges but still loose in center, 25 to 30 minutes (do not overbake; mixture will continue setting as it cools). Let cool on a wire rack until set but still warm, 10 to 20 minutes. Serve.

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