Are y’all tired of cheese-related posts yet? If so (which I don’t understand), don’t fret. This is the last one…for a while. 🙂 This deluxe mac & cheese incorporates a bit of the French mimolette cheese I was introduced to at the Cheeses of Europe event I mentioned a few posts back. The timing is perfect, though, because Thanksgiving is days away.
Just in case you haven’t guessed from the title, this post is about macaroni and cheese, which is a staple dish at our table. I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family the last three years running and it. goes. down. I take entertaining very seriously. Mac and cheese makes an appearance each year. I have tweaked the recipe here and there since I first attempted it in my college days. Sometimes adding chipotle and other times using white cheddar. This rendition is a relatively simple, dare I say classic one featuring sharp and mild cheddars, the aforementioned mimolette, and BACON.
The bacon is totally optional but if you’re a fan of the swine, it never hurts. Either way, I hope you’ll add this to your Thanksgiving dinner menu…that you have hopefully already planned and done a test version of. I’m not the only person who does that, right? Did I mention I take this very seriously? Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
I hope you’ll try this dish and love it. Thanks for reading!
- 16 ounces cavatappi pasta cooked just shy of al dente (about 6-7 minutes)
- 10 ounces small pasta shells cooked just shy of al dente (about 6-7 minutes)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 2 cups shredded mild cheddar
- 1/4 cup shredded mimolette
- 2 cups milk I use unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- 3/8 cup flour
- 12 ounces bacon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add pasta to a rectangular casserole or cake pan. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Stir in flour and mix well to form a sort of roux. Reduce heat and continue stirring until mixture thickens.
Stir in cheese about a half cup at a time until smooth (and drool-inducing).
Pour cheese sauce over pasta and cover with foil. Bake covered for 25 minutes, then uncovered for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place bacon on a non-stick or greased cookie sheet and bake at the same temperature for about fifteen minutes or to your desired level of crispness.
Remove from oven and place on a plate layered with newspaper to soak up excess grease. Once slightly cooled, crumble up the paper into a little ball. When you unfold it, the bacon should be crumbled into pieces and perfect for sprinkling atop your mac and cheese.
Remove pasta from the oven. Garnish with bacon, if desired, and serve.