Recipe: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn't think In Garten (or Paula Deen) when comfort foods like macaroni and cheese are mentioned?!?  :)

Thanks to Ina Garten for this recipe, it's a favorite in our house hold and makes GREAT leftovers for a quick lunch or dinner for Emily later in the week.

Recipe: Baked macaroni and cheese

3 slices thick bacon
2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces Roquefort blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Pinch of nutmeg
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly spray a 13x9 baking dish (I prefer glass) with Pam.

Crisp bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes per side, drain over paper towels.  When cool, chop and set aside.

Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside.  Return the pot you boiled the macaroni in to the stove over medium heat.  Melt the butter and sprinkle on the flour and cook 1 minute.  Microwave the milk 2 minutes until warm and add to the butter and flour, whisking until all lumps are gone.  Continue whisking and cooking until it becomes slightly thick.

Turn off the heat and add all cheeses, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the elbow macaroni and chopped bacon and stir to combine.  Pour mixture into baking dish.

Using your food processor, pulse bread until fine crumbs.  Add basil leaves and pulse to combine.  Sprinkle this mixture over the macaroni in the baking dish and bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.


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