Macaroni and CheeseWritten by CMP on May 03, 2012
Baked Macaroni and Cheese endures as a timeless favorite, but I haven't met many folks who bother to make it at home. Maybe the cheese sauce frightens them off. In the end, it's easy and comes together quickly.
And it's WAY better than the blue box.
- 1 lb Penne Pasta
- 6 Slices of Bacon
- 3 Tbs Unsalted Butter
- 3 Tbs Flour
- 3 Cups Skim Milk
- 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
- 1 1/3 Cups Cheddar Cheese (shredded with a box grater)
- 1 1/3 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded with a box grater)
- 1 1/3 Cups Gruyere Cheese (shredded with a box grater)
- 3/4 Cups Plain Breadcrumbs
- 3/4 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Lasagna sized foil pan
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Set a large pot of salted water over high heat. Bring to boil and cook the pasta al dente (a little on the hard side is okay).
While the pasta water is boiling, heat a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and cook in the sauce pot until crispy. Remove and set aside, reserving the bacon fat in the pot. Add the butter and flour and whisk until there are no lumps and the color turns golden. Add the milk, raise the heat, and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Just after it reaches the boiling point, reduce heat to simmer and add the cheese (cheddar, jack, and gruyere - not the parmesan), nutmeg, 2 Tsp of Kosher Salt, and a few turns of the pepper grinder. Whisk to combine well and keep over low heat until the pasta is ready.
When the pasta is ready, drain well and dump into the foil pan. Add the cheese sauce and cooked bacon to the pan and mix well.
In a mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, 2 Tsp Salt and 1 Tsp pepper. Distribute evenly over the top of the pasta that is now bathing in your cheese sauce.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is brown and crusty.