The only thing that can make macaroni and cheese even more enticing is when it’s loaded up with bacon. This recipe calls for two different kinds of cheese, creating a richer, more complex flavor than any kind of powdered cheese packet and is topped off with crunchy, salty bacon.
- Yield: Serves 6
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 1 teaspoon plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound cellentani (corkscrew pasta)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3½ cups whole milk
- 3 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cellentani and cook until al dente, then drain and return to the pot.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan, then add the ﬂour using a whisk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn it. Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Turn off the heat and add the cheeses, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the cheeses have melted and all the ingredients are combined. Pour the cheese sauce into the pot with the pasta and mix well. Pour into the baking dish.
- In a small skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, add the panko, and cook until slightly brown. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the casserole and bake for 30 minutes until bubbling hot and golden. Sprinkle with the bacon, garnish with parsley, and serve.