Monday, February 15, 2010

Mac & Cheese

Have you ever met a person who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? No? In some form, macaroni and cheese is just one of those dishes we all love, or at least like. a whole lot.

So in an effort to expand my mac 'n' cheese horizons (away from the boxed kind), I tried this recipe. And I love it. It's actually really easy to make and is sooo yummy.

3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
12 ounces strozzapreti or penne pasta
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cooking spray

1. Bring six quarts of water with 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta. Turn on your oven's broiler.

2. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once it's mixed, gradually add the remaining 1 cup of milk.

3. Bring to a boil and let it cook for one minute, stirring constantly.

4. Remove from heat. Let stand until the liquid cools to 155 degrees.

5. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce (I used Tabasco but feel free to use your favorite), pepper, and bacon and stir.

6. Add pasta and toss until well coated.

7. Spray a 2-quart broiler-safe dish with cooking spray. Spoon pasta into dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Broil until cheese is melted as you like.

**I like mine a little crispy, so I left it about nine minutes.

Spoon out and enjoy! It's so yummy! Do you have any favorite macaroni and cheese recipes I should try?

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