Our chefs just took mac ’n’ cheese to the next level of pasta nirvana by adding pulled pork into the mix. That’s right: with every bite of curly cavatappi noodles, you also get chunks of melt-in-your-mouth-tender precooked meat. And because they won’t settle or anything less than blowing your mind, our chefs added smoky barbecue spices, too. So grab a fork and get ready to dig in to this ultimate take on some of your favorite comfort foods.
Sweet and Smoky BBQ Seasoning
Mexican Cheese Blend
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry scallions, then trim and thinly slice, separating greens and whites.
Once water boils, add cavatappi to pot. Cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Scoop out and reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain.
Meanwhile, tear pork into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Heat a large drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring a few times, until pork begins to brown, 4-5 minutes. Stir in scallion whites and cook 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
After draining cavatappi, lower heat under pan used for pork to medium and add 4 TBSP butter. Once melted, stir in flour and cook 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in milk, reserved pasta cooking water, barbecue seasoning, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then let bubble until just thickened, 1-2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add cream cheese and Mexican cheese, stirring until smooth. Stir in cavatappi and pork to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide pasta between plates. Garnish with scallion greens and hot sauce (to taste).