Papa's Pepper Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese

Papa's Pepper Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese
(Courtesy of Spencer from @spencerthecook from Instagram ... )
It's my son's fault!  He wanted a pepperoni pizza and my mac and cheese for his birthday dinner.  So what's a dad to do for his son?  Yup, make Papa's Pepper Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese!  If it sounds delicious, it is!  If it sounds healthy, it isn't, but the spicy, cheesy deliciousness is worth it once in a while!  Mac and Cheese has always been a "guilty pleasure" of our family, but this takes it to a new level!  Give it a try and I'm sure it will quickly become a favorite guilty pleasure of yours as well!

For the cheese sauce:
4T Butter
3T Cornstarch
2C Milk, warmed
16oz. Block of Extra sharp cheddar, shredded
8oz. Block of Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

For the dish:
2lbs. Shell pasta (or your favorite pasta shape)
18oz. Pepperoni, cut into bite sized pieces, reserve about 2oz.
1 16oz jar of your favorite pizza sauce (or make your own!)
1 White onion, cut into a small dice (Macédoine)
1C & 1C reserved, Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2t Papa's Pepper premium spice blend

For the cheese sauce:

Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat.  Once melted add cornstarch and stir until the roux starts to turn light brown and then stir in the milk.  Stir until the bechamel sauce thickens.  Add more milk if needed until the sauce is thick and easily coats the back of a spoon.  Slowly add the shredded cheese and stir until all the cheese is incorporated.

For the pasta:

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Cut pepperoni into bite sized pieces and put in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Cook pepperoni until it starts to get dark, crispy and the fat is rendered.  Remove pepperoni from pan, reserving the rendered fat.  Add onions to the same frying pan the pepperoni was in, along with Papa's Pepper and saute until the onions are cooked through, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add cooked pasta to large mixing bowl, add, cheese sauce and onions from frying pan, mix until incorporated.  Add cooked pepperoni,1C mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce, mix until incorporated.  Pour mixture into casserole dish, top with reserved mozzarella and pepperoni and put under broiler on high until the top is brown and bubbly, 3 minutes.  Serve hot.