Macaroni and cheese. One of my favorites. Bacon. Also one of my favorites. Why not put them together? Here is my take on this variation of a classic.
Bacon Three Cheese Macaroni
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 10 minutes
4 slices bacon, sliced into lardons
1 80z pkg elbow macaroni
2 tbsp bacon fat
2 tbsp flour
2 cup lactose-free milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cups + 1 cup shredded lactose-free cheese (I used 1 cup of each: Gouda, Swiss and Cheddar)
1. Fill a large pot with water and salt and bring to a boil. When water is at a rolling boil, pour in the pasta. Cook to the directions on the pasta package for al dente noodles. Strain pasta when done, but do not rinse noodles. The remaining starch in the water still on the noodles will also help to thicken the sauce.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
3. In a small sauce pan, cook bacon lardons until crispy, stirring frequently. When bacon is cooked, remove to a small bowl and save for later.
4. Whisk the flour into the hot bacon fat. You want all of the flour incorporated so it’s a paste – this is called roux and is commonly used to thicken cream sauces. Stirring constantly, cook the roux until a golden brown (about 3 minutes).
4. When the roux has browned, pour in the 2 cups of milk. Stir the milk and roux mixture until smooth. Add the dry mustard, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne now. Heat this mixture until the milk has thickened, stirring often – about 5 – 10 minutes.
5. Add 2 cups shredded lactose-free cheese a handful at a time, stirring constantly. Allow each handful of cheese to melt into the milk mixture before adding the next.
6. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta noodles, add the bacon and stir.
7. Pour the pasta into a casserole dish. Cover with the remaining cheese.
8. Bake until the cheese on top of the casserole is crisp and browned. This should take about 5 – 10 minutes.