By Duane Pemberton
Who can hate on home made Mac n’ Cheese? It’s comfort food 101 – simple, homey, a bit rustic and really does seem to warm the soul. This is a variant that I recently made for my family and I’m happy to share with you how I made it.
- 1/2 cup -Shredded Gruyère Cheese
- 1/2 cup – Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar
- 1/2 cup – flour
- 2 tablespoons – butter
- 3 cups – milk
- 3/4lb – Elbow Macaroni pasta
- 2oz – finely chopped, fresh Rosemary
- 8 strips of bacon
- Salt / Pepper
Start the bacon first – either over a traditional skillet on the stove top or in the oven on a sheet pan at 400° until crispy.
In a stock-pot start your water on high heat – after it starts to boil, season with several large pinches of sea salt or kosher and then add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Using a large sauce pan, add the butter and bring to a full melt and then combine the flour. Start whisking in the milk until it reaches a consistency that will easily coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now add both cheeses, slowly to allow them to melt – simmer in low heat for a few minutes.
I used 12oz ramekins for my plating – you can certainly prepare this in a glass casserole dish as well. If using ramekins, add enough pasta to go up about 3/4 the way and then add the cheese sauce and mix in chopped bacon. If using a casserole dish, simply combine all the pasta and cheese sauce and add in the bacon (chopped up).
Bake in the oven at 425° for 10-minutes (5-min convection mode) – remove and add the fresh rosemary.