This rich dish from chef Sam Talbot, of Pretty Southern in Brooklyn, combines two beloved Southern dishes: pimento cheese (a hearty spread made from mayo, shredded cheddar, and pimentos) and macaroni and cheese.
The cavatappi pasta is a great shape for catching all the sauce, which is creamy and lush but has a bite from extra-sharp cheddar, plus piquancy from the pimentos, garlic, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s quick and easy to make, too. See our chat with Sam about his path to the kitchen, and get another recipe from the chef: his Oysters with General Tso’s Cabbage and Furikake recipe.
- 2 8 ounce cans diced pimentos, drained
- 2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
- 1 pound cavatappi, cooked per the instructions on the box
- toasted breadcrumbs, for garnish
- sliced chives, for garnish
- Cook the cavatappi per the instructions on the box. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the drained pimentos, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne, parsley, onion powder, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce and set aside.
- In a large sauce pot, slowly heat the cream until almost simmering. Stir in the pimento cheese mixture and Parmesan until a sauce consistency is reached. Taste and add salt and fresh cracked black pepper as desired.
- Drain the cooked pasta and mix well with the sauce. Stir in the thyme at the last minute, and serve garnished with chives and toasted breadcrumbs.