The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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She-Crab Mac and Cheese

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Level: Easy

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Description

She-crab bisque meets mac and cheese in this epic pairing! This mac and cheese is gooey, spiced with Old Bay, and couldn’t be easier to make!

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ whole Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sweet Or Mild Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Old Bay Or Other Seafood Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1-½ cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 16 ounces, weight Grated Fontina Cheese, Divided
  • 16 ounces, weight Short-cut Pasta, Cooked To Al Dente And Drained, 1 Cup Pasta Water Reserved
  • 16 ounces, weight Lump Crab, Picked Through For Any Shell Bits
  • ¼ cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Lemon Wedges, To Serve

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Put the pasta pot used for boiling the noodles (or another large pot) over medium heat. Add butter, onion, garlic, spices, and tomato paste to the pot. Stir to combine until mixture is sizzling, then sprinkle over the flour. Whisk together to form a paste.

Very slowly pour in stock, whisking as you go, to create a thickened sauce. Pour in the cream and continue to stir.

Let mixture come just to a simmer, then stir in fontina cheese a handful at a time until it melts, reserving 1 cup of grated cheese. When the she-crab soup base (and mac and cheese base) is done, turn the stove off.

Add cooked pasta, crab, and remaining cheese to the pot. Stir gently to combine and taste, adding more salt, pasta water, or cream to your preference. The mixture should be saucy but not soupy.

Transfer mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle with panko and black pepper. Bake the she-crab mac and cheese for 15–20 minutes until bubbly. Serve with flaky salt, olive oil, cracked pepper, and lemon wedges.

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