When you say the words “comfort food” in my house, the immediate thought is Mac n’ Cheese. Tender noodles, smothered in a rich cheese sauce, with a bread crumb topping. It does not get more satisfying than that.
In this dish I like to add bacon for protein and flavour. I am a lover of bacon so for me, adding bacon to anything is perfectly alright in my books. Adding some Jalapeño cheddar and Hot sauce gives a subtle kick my family seems to enjoy as well.
This is a kid friendly, quick meal solution, for any day of the week. Serve it with a salad of mixed greens and light vinaigrette to balance the weight of the pasta and cheese.
This dish also freezes very well. Place it in a freezer safe/oven safe dish and cover with foil and Saran Wrap. Freeze for up to a month. To heat, place the dish in a 375F oven removing the Saran Wrap but leaving the foil. Bake for approx 45-60 minutes from frozen. Once heated throughly, broil for a minute to brown up the crumb topping and serve.
Classic Bacon Mac n' CheesePrint This
- 500g of dried pasta noodles (penne, elbow macaroni, or casarecce)
- 4 c old cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 c parmasen cheese (grated)
- 1.5 c milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/4 c bacon (cooked and diced)
- 1/4 c planko or bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Begin this recipe by boiling your pasta water.
- Pasta water should be very well salted. A good handful of Salt should be added to the pot before boiling. When the pasta is cooked as per package instructions, do not rinse. This will retain small amounts of the salt flavour to enhance your pasta’s taste. Set your pasta aside.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
- Add the flour to the butter to form a paste like consistency.
- Slowly add the milk 1/2c at a time. Using a whisk, incorporate between each addition.
- Bring the milk to the point of almost boiling, then remove from heat.
- Add the cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
- Add the hot sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. (I add 1/2 tsp of each)
- Add your cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir thoroughly.
- Using a large casserole dish, or 6 individual custard cups, add your Mac n’ cheese.
- Sprinkle your bacon over top.
- Combine the olive oil and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the bacon.
- Set your oven to broil. Place your Mac n’ Cheese under the broiler and watch closely. Cook only until the bread crumb mixture has browned. 2 – 3 minutes.
- Serve right away.
Substitutions: Are you looking to add a bit of heat to this classic recipe? Add 2 c old cheddar cheese, 2 cups jalapeño cheddar for a subtle spicy kick that is not too overpowering.