I love Mac and Cheese.
It doesn’t necessarily like me back – lactose intolerance is a terrible thing.
Every once in a while I just can’t help myself – I just gotta have it.
If I am going to suffer after eating Mac and Cheese, this is the mac and cheese it has to be!
My sister gave me this recipe many moons ago. I change it to suit my mood and what I have on hand. I’ll give you the original recipe and then the way I made it this time.
Really, as long as you keep the bacon in, it’s all good, right?
- 3/4 C bread crumbs
- 1 lb pasta
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 3 T flour
- 1/8 t nutmeg
- 1 qt milk
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 lb shredded gruyere
- 1/2 lb Velveeta
- 1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 3 T olive oil
Now that’s the original recipe. This make A LOT of mac and cheese. I halved the recipe and made some minor adjustments to the ingredients.
- 1/3 C bread crumbs
- 1/2 lb pasta
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 T flour
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 C milk
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1/2 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
NOTE: I used medium shells. I switched to just cheddar because gruyere is SO expensive and my supermarket didn’t have it.
NOTE: The cooking instructions are the same regardless of which version you use.
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook the pasta, drain, set aside.
NOTE: I cooked the pasta, drained it and then put it back in the pot I cooked it in. How many bowls and plates can one person mess up for a recipe!?
Generously butter a 1 quart baking dish. Add a third of the breadcrumbs and shake to coat the baking dish evenly.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add nutmeg. Whisk in milk all at once. Heat to a boil, lower to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.
Add sauce to pasta and mix thoroughly.
Spoon half the pasta mixture into baking dish. Add bacon and tomatoes in an even layer and top with remaining pasta mixture.
Combine remaining breadcrumbs with oil and sprinkle over pasta.
Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 45 minutes.
NOTE: Every time I make this I say I don’t like the tomatoes in it. Everyone else does, but I am not a fan. I wonder if I used grape tomatoes and roasted them first if it would be better?