What’s not to love about Mac & Cheese? Creamy sauce, cheese, pasta, cheese, bacon….BACON, cheese, it has everything in it, except chocolate, to make my heart flutter. I actually believe I sometimes see a pan of Mac & Cheese winking at me, saying “Come to me, you know I can make you happy.” I have had a long love affair with this simple dish of comfort and joy. I like to play around with it and amp it up once in awhile. I had quite a bit of cheese in the fridge, imagine that, so Mac & Cheese it was for the night! You can use whatever cheeses you have on hand, have fun with it. I added pecans and bacon, we all know my feelings toward bacon. It blended together in the most perfect of ways.
*****After making this dish, next time I will put randomly scatter extra pats of butter on top of crumb mixture. I added this step to the printable recipe.
Amp up the Mac & Cheese game. Everyone needs a little variety in their lives. Play with it, add shredded chicken and make it your main course. But most of all…..whisk, whisk hard….and by all means, shake those hips!!!
- 12 oz. pasta
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2-3 tablespoons of butter for topping dish
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- Melt 1/2 cup butter in a Dutch oven over low heat.
- Whisk in flour and pepper until smooth. Cook, while whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in milk.
- cook over medium heat, continuing to whisk, 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.
- Combine White Cheddar, Colby Jack, and Asiago in a medium bowl. Set 1 1/2 cups to the side. Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Add remaining cheese mixture and cooked pasta to sauce. Toss to coat.
- spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish.
- Top with remaining 1/2 cups of cheese.
- Combine breadcrumbs with bacon, pecans, and melted butter. Sprinkle over cheese mixture.
- Top with small pats of butter scattered over baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.