I can’t believe I’m saying this but summer is winding down. After 2020, it’s easy to say that 2021 has gone by fast and now we’re approaching fall. As the lemon, lime, and citrus flavors start turning into pumpkin and cinnamon flavors it’s time to add a bit of pasta back into your life. Of course that being a nice mac-n-cheese recipe!
If you’re anything like me you may have come across an Ina Garten book or two in your cooking career. However, as much as I love her healthy recipes I do love to throw some bacon or pancetta in every once in a while. Nothing like adding to a combined Gruyere and Cheddar flavor profile underneath some panko crumbs for a little bit of crunch.
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 quart milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 slices of chopped bacon
1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
- Place the 4 slices of bacon into a large pan at medium heat. Cook until crispy, remove and place on a paper towel to drain. Cut or break into chopped pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Drizzle oil into a large pot (around 3 quarts) of salted water (1 tbs of salt), stir in pasta, cook for 6-8 minutes. Drain.
- Set aside a 3-quart baking dish or a 13x9 and butter the pan
- Prepare to heat the milk in a small to medium-sized saucepan, but do not boil.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large pot and add flour, mix with a whisk at low heat.
- While whisking, add heated milk, gruyere, cheddar, and pepper to the mixture, turn off heat.
- Add cooked macaroni, scallions, bacon, and stir. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
- Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter with the breadcrumbs and coat the mac-n-cheese. Let sit and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Add scallions and bacon bits as a garnish and serve.
This baked dish is great as a side for family dinners and definitely has a good taste as a leftover! I hope you can enjoy it as much as I do!
Until next time! Thanks!