Monday, January 28, 2013

Carbonara Mac 'N Cheese

There is an ongoing search in my family for the best mac 'n cheese....we are always willing to give a new recipe a try, simply for the sake of research, of course!

It didn't take long for this recipe to find it's way into my dinner rotation when I saw it on a food blog I follow and forwarded it to my sister-in-law with a simple message: " When are we trying this?"

We had it that night for dinner and I must say, combining two of my favorites, bacon and mac 'n cheese, was an ingenious idea!  DELICIOUS!

Carbonara Mac 'N Cheese
as adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

1 pound fusilli, cooked just under al dente
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound pancetta (we used bacon), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten in small bowl
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Gruyere Cheese, shredded and divided
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Add one teaspoon olive oil to large sauté pan and place over medium heat. When oil is hot, add pancetta and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes. Remove pancetta with spoon and transfer to bed of paper towels to drain. Set aside.
Add onion to same sauté pan and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. 
Place garlic and thyme over the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
Add butter and melt. 
Once melted, mix in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. 
Increase heat to medium-high and whisk in milk until mixture has thickened, about 4- 6 minutes. 
Add a few teaspoons of warm milk mixture to bowl with egg yolks and whisk. 
Add egg/milk mixture back to pan and mix until completely combined.
Turn off heat and add Dijon mustard, 1 cup Gruyere and 1 cup Parmesan. 
Add salt to taste; mix well. In large bowl, add pancetta, pasta and cheese mixture; toss together until pasta is evenly coated. 
Transfer to a 13”x 10” casserole dish and sprinkle top with remaining Gruyere, Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper. 
Transfer to oven and bake 12-15 minutes, until top is melted. Serve immediately.
The night was perfectly complete with my nephew and a beautiful sun set!
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