One pot = one delicious cheesy pasta dinner!
Is there any more iconic American pasta dish than macaroni and cheese? But, let’s be honest, the boxed stuff can get a bit boring. Luckily, with just a few extra minutes (and some really good smoked Gouda) we can take our macaroni and cheese game to another level!
If you wanted make this with elbow macaroni, you definitely could, but the sauce is so creamy that I think sturdier pasta like fusilli works better.
We are going to make everything in one pot and step one is cooking the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, chop up about 8 ounces of bacon. A little goes a long way here and the bacon grease will be the base for our cheese sauce.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse it with cold water to keep it from getting too soggy.
Then wipe out your pot and add the chopped bacon to it. Cook the bacon on low heat for about 8-10 minutes until the grease renders out of it and the bacon gets very crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon so it doesn’t burn.
Whisk the flour into the bacon grease which will form the roux that we’ll use to make the cheese sauce. No surprise here that this will already smell amazing.
Once the roux is a light tan color, add the warmed milk slowly, whisking constantly until the mixture forms a thick sauce. Then add all your grated cheese! You could use all cheddar for a more classic cheese sauce, but I’m a big fan of some smoked gouda action.
Once your sauce is done, stir your pasta and bacon back in and you are ready to go!
Just look at that creaminess! Dig in while it’s hot.