Verdict: These were the hit of the party! Seriously. They were yummy macaroni and cheese with a bit of pizza flavor from the spices and the pepperoni, These are the perfect size for a 2-4 bite size hearty appetizer. I couldn’t keep these on the table. They were gone in a flash.
Hint: They are a bit greasy from the pepperoni on the bottom so I highly suggest placing them on a napkin or paper towel first for a minute to soak up the oil from the pepperoni.
- 22 – 30 slices large pepperoni, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk or half and half
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- salt and black pepper
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese,freshly shredded, divided
- 8 oz. elbow pasta
- Freshly torn basil, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°. Cut a slit into the center of 18 pepperoni slices and place a slice into each hole of a muffin tin. Chop remaining slices of pepperoni into small pieces.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until golden brown. Slowly pour milk in while whisking the entire time. Add heavy cream, garlic powder, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
Add cheddar cheese and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted.
- In another large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain.
- Add 2 tablespoons pasta water to cheese sauce and stir to combine. Add pasta and toss to coat. Add more pasta water as necessary to loosen sauce to desired consistency, if needed. Taste macaroni and cheese and adjust spices as necessary to your liking.
- Spoon macaroni into pepperoni cups. Top with about 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and chopped pepperoni. Bake until tops are golden and macaroni feels firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove macaroni and cheese from tin and top with basil and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese before serving.