Recipe by Rachael Ray
- Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée or 8 to 10 as a sideServings
- 1 lb. macaroni with lines or other short pasta (such as penne or cavatappi, a corkscrew pasta)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 package (12 to 16 oz.) hot or mild Spanish-style chorizo, casings removed and meat coarsely crumbled or diced (I like Gaspar’s; chorizo is a fully cooked product similar in size and texture to kielbasa and is located in the refrigerated case)
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- About 1/4 tsp. cayenne or hot paprika
- 2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar
- 2 cups grated Manchego cheese
- 1 jar (about 8 oz.) piquillo peppers in water, drained and diced, or 2 jars (4 oz. each) diced pimiento peppers, drained
- For garnish
- thinly sliced scallions, 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)
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven; preheat the broiler.
4. In a large sauce pot, melt the butter with the 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 and the cayenne. Whisk until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, mix the cheeses. Add 3 cups of the cheese mixture to the sauce, 1 cup at a time, stirring until melted and smooth between additions. Remove from heat and stir in the piquillo peppers.
6. 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 to 5 minutes. Top with the scallions and parsley. For an entrée, serve with the salad.