Mac & Cheese

If I had to make a list of my top 5 foods, pasta and cheese would definitely be up there. A big bowl of cheesy, gooey mac & cheese a great meal for a cold day (or a hot day). Add bacon and croutons to that and you’ve got a damn good dish.

Ingredients

1 package of Pasta

Topping

4-5 slices of thick cut bacon or pancetta, cubed

3-4 slices of bread

2 tbsp butter

Sauce

2 cups milk

1/4 cup flour

2 tbsp butter

2 cups of grated cheese

salt

pepper

chili powder

I like  to use a few different kinds of cheese to make this. This time I used old cheddar, gouda, parmesan and asiago. You can use any type of short cut pasta you like.

Directions

Grate all the cheese. If you can, find a helper so your arms don’t get so tired. Put the cheese out of sight so you don’t eat it all while prepping the other ingredients.

Cut your bacon/pancetta into cubes (or buy it pre-cut like I did). Cook it over medium heat until it browns. Once it’s done, transfer to a separate bowl. Do not get rid of the fat left in the pan.

Cut the bread into cubes. I’ve used everything from french bread to light rye to make these. It’s best if the bread is a day or two old, if it’s too fresh it’s harder to work with. Toss a couple of tablespoons of butter into the skillet you used for the bacon (which should still have bacon fat in it). Let it melt, then toss in the bread. Make sure the bread gets fairly evenly coated then fry until it’s a nice golden colour.

The bacon and croutons can be cooked a bit in advance if you want to do that. Let your pasta cook while you’re doing the next few steps. I generally boil it for 1 minute less than the time recommended on the packaging, since it will cook some more in the oven.

Now it’s time to make the sauce. Heat the milk in a small saucepan. In a separate, large pot or deep pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Heat the butter until it starts bubbling. Once it’s bubbling start adding the flour, and whisk away! After about a minute, slowly pour the hot milk into the butter/flour mixture. Keep whisking until it starts thickening, then remove the pan from the heat.

Add in 3/4 of the grated cheese and mix until smooth. Add salt, pepper and chili powder to taste.

Your pasta should be cooked and strained by now. Add it to the pot with the sauce and mix around to ensure all the pasta gets coated. (This is why you needed to use such a big pot).

Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish.

Add the bacon and croutons on top, followed by the remainder of the cheese.

Cook in the oven at 375°F for 25 minutes.

Let it cool for a few minutes, then serve. Enjoy!

Mac & Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pasta with creamy cheese sauce, salty bacon, and crispy croutons.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 package of Pasta
Topping
  • 4-5 slices of thick cut bacon or pancetta, cubed
  • 3-4 slices of bread
  • 2 tbsp butter
Sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups of grated cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
Instructions
  1. Grate all the cheese
  2. Cut bacon into cubes/slices and cook over medium heat until browned, then remove
  3. Add butter to the bacon fat in the pan
  4. Fry the cubes of bread until they are golden
  5. Cook pasta in salted water for 1 minute less than recommended, then drain
  6. Heat milk in a small saucepan
  7. Heat butter in the pasta pot (pasta should be in the strainer) until it bubbles
  8. Slowly add flour to the butter while whisking
  9. Slowly pour the milk into the pasta pot. Keep whisking until it thickens
  10. Remove pot from heat and add ¾ of the grated cheese
  11. Mix until smooth, add salt, pepper and spices to taste
  12. Add the pasta back to the pot and coat with the sauce
  13. Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish
  14. Add the rest of the cheese, the bacons and croutons on top
  15. Bake in the oven at 375°F for 25 minutes
Notes
I like to use a few different kinds of cheese to make this. My favourites are cheddar, smoked gouda, parmesan and asiago. You can use any type of short cut pasta you like.

 

4 thoughts on “Mac & Cheese

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