Bacon and Pea Mac and Cheese

Mmmm… inspired by Food Network and Smitten Kitchen.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4-5 cups milk
  • 2 or 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
  • ½-1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (you can adjust the cheese amounts based on how rich you want your mac and cheese)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves.
  4. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming.
  5. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 cup Pecorino Romano; set the cheese sauce aside. [Keep about 1-½ cups of cheese to sprinkle on top at end.] Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 ½ cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

This photo is of a half portion, which fed 2 ppl for 2 meals.

  1. While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s