I have a few different mac and cheese recipes that I make. One is a simple stove top version and this one is known as ‘the fancy mac and cheese’ in our house. It has a few extra touches that make it more than your average mac and cheese.
The cheese sauce has roasted garlic and shallots in it and there are both cheddar and gruyere cheeses in the dish. When it is baking it is topped with a mixture of chopped bacon, parmesan and bread crumbs.
Even though it is more work, I end up making this recipe the most frequently because everyone wants it. It goes great as a side dish with so many things. Today we ate it with some ribs my husband made and collard greens. Delicious!
Mac and Cheese with Bacon, Roasted Garlic and Bread Crumbs
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 lb pasta whatever shape you want
- 1/4 lb bacon cooked and chopped
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parm
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 shallots minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 oz gruyere cheese grated
- 4 oz extra sharp cheddar grated
- ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Roast the garlic by heating your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off the head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Wrap in heavy duty foil and bake for 1 hour until you can smell it roasting.
- Cool and remove the cloves and mash with a little salt. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Cook bacon and drain and then chop.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, cooled chopped bacon and the parmesan in a small bowl and add 1 tbsp melted butter. Set aside.
- Lower oven to 375. Saute the shallots over low heat in some of the bacon fat or olive oil. Add the rest of the butter (3 tbsp) and let it melt. Add the flour and cook for a minute while stirring.
- Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk and the roasted garlic.
- Cook until the sauce is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the salt, pepper, and the two cheeses. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the cooked pasta and pour into a baking dish. If you are doubling the recipe use a 9×13 pan. If not, use a smaller round baking dish or a cake pan. Sprinkle the topping on and cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the topping has browned and the cheese is bubbling.