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Bacon ( Makes Everything Better ) Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is pretty much the ultimate comfort food. I made this version a couple of days ago and I was really pleased with it. It is jam- packed with bacon-y goodness. I added cooked bacon to my cheese sauce and I also toasted  up some panko breadcrumbs in the bacon fat for double the bacon pleasure. You know what they say - BACON MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER -

Bacon Mac and Cheese

375. gram pkg. small pasta shells
4 strips of bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook shells in boiling salted water until they are a few minutes away from being al dente ( they will continue to cook in the oven). Drain. Meanwhile in a small skillet  fry bacon over med. heat until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and add panko to the pan. Saute until golden brown.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic  and saute for one minute.  Add flour and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add milk, whisking constantly. Continue to cook until thickened, reduce heat.  Stir in grated cheese and  reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with cooked pasta. Pour into greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Top with browned panko crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  Serves 4  or more.

Tags: Mac and Cheese, Pasta, Bacon, Main

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