So we were at our baby class on Tuesday and the group was asked what our favorite comfort food was. Several in the group said mac and cheese. Now, I love mac and cheese. I think everyone, either openly or secretly, does! Today is Valentine's day, and we are doing something at home instead of going out and fighting the crowds, so I decided to create the ultimate over-the-top mac and cheese for my wife.
I started this recipe from scratch, no box mix for us today. Give this a try. It does take a bit of time. The really good stuff always takes time, and can't be rushed.
Mac and cheese deluxe
2 strips good bacon, diced
2 oz butter
1 tsp chopped garlic
3/4 cups flour
3 cups skim milk
4 oz pepper jack cheese, diced
3.5 oz smoked gouda, diced
1# 4oz whole wheat penne (cooked weight)
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 oz goat cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot of water, add salt and bring to a boil. In another small sauce pan, add diced bacon and render over low heat until bacon is crispy. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook until just tender. Drain and cool.
When bacon is crisp remove from pan and set aside. Add butter and garlic to the pan and melt, let garlic cook lightly until fragrant but not colored. Add flour and stir to make a roux.
Reduce heat and add milk, whisk to combine. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk, this should be done slowly to avoid burning the roux. As the sauce starts to thicken, add pepperjack and gouda. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and mix well.
Place into oven-proof baking dish and set aside. In the bowl of a food proccesor, place bacon, breadcrumbs and goat cheese. Pulse until bacon/breadcrumb/goat cheese mixture is well combined.
Pour on top of pasta and bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown and delicious!