Bakes, Entree, Pasta, pork, Recipes

Mac and Cheese with Peppers and Bacon

One of the first dishes I have in mind when the days start to get colder, is Mac and Cheese. While the basic combination of cooked pasta and cheese sauce is always tasty and warming, to make it more interesting, I often use more than one type of cheese in the sauce. I also like to add some other ingredients to the dish, in order to give it more texture and color, and enhance its nutritional values at the same time.

This time, I chose sautéed onion, shallot, colorful mini peppers and precooked bacon, as the added twist to the basic dish. Another twist was in the topping – instead of using only plain breadcrumbs, I mixed them with some chopped precooked bacon, finely grated Parmesan cheese and dried shallots – all contributed to form an even crispier and aromatic topping.

Served with a green salad on the side, this peppery, slightly hot and warming dish, is perfect for serving for lunch or dinner on a cold day. Try it and enjoy.

 

Notes: for more versions, check THIS or THIS posts.  

 

Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

2½ cups uncooked Rotini pasta
½ stick (55 grams) butter, soft

1 medium shallot, roughly chopped

1 small onion, roughly chopped

6-7 mini peppers, desseded and thinly cut, lengthwise

2 tsp salt

½ tsp freshly grated four peppers mix

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 oz (113 grams) aged sharp cheddar, roughly chopped

4 oz (113 grams) Pepper Jack cheese, roughly chopped

1 oz (30 grams) fully cooked bacon, roughly chopped

¼ cup flour

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

For the topping:

1 oz (30 grams) fully cooked bacon, thinly cut

2 Tbs dried shallots

¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 oz (30 grams) Parmesan cheese, finely grated

¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix

 

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Line an 8×8” (20×20 cm) baking pan with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a wide pot, over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and onion. Mix and sauté for 1 minute. Add the peppers, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix and sauté until the peppers soften. Add the bacon and mix.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Add the flour and mix well. Add the milk and mustard, while mixing. Cook for a minute, until the mixture thickens a bit.
  5. Add the chopped cheeses, mix and cook, while mixing occasionally, until the cheeses melt and the sauce is smooth and thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the cooked pasta, mix gently and transfer to the pan. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the topping, and scatter on top.
  6. Turn the broiler on, place the pan under it and broil for 1 minute, until the topping is brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

27 thoughts on “Mac and Cheese with Peppers and Bacon”

  1. Although pasta and cheese is my ultimate comfort combination, especially if there are peppers and mushrooms involved, I tend to get it too cheesy, thus too thick. My usual ratio of flour and fluid for a sauce seems to be the same as yours, so not sure where I am going awry.

    Must experiment more!

    Virtual hugs,
    
    Judie
    

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Without my principal taste tester, cheerleader, and belovedest, things just aren’t the same. But eating is still necessary, and it was such an enormous part of our lives that carrying on is mandatory.

        But the heartbreak is devastating.

        Thank you for caring.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The bacon and peppers are a nice touch, besides being delicious. I think about mac and cheese all year long and sometimes will make it in my slow cooker plugged in on my deck. I love it with seafood too and all the different cheeses you can use. A true classic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not a huge Mac n cheese fan, maybe cause my mind goes directly to velveeta, from the many times my mother in law attempted meals at her house. But yours looks really good. Love the peppers in there, plus the real cheeses!

    Like

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