Pancetta Mac 'n Cheese
There is something so comforting about warm, gooey cheese and pasta. I had a hankering for some mac n' cheese last week, and decided to whip up a batch. The idea of cheese and pasta is so simple, yet so delicious. What could possibly make it any better? How about some crispy pancetta?
Grating up some extra sharp and jalapeno cheddars.
But wait, haven't you been trying to eat less meat. Yes, I have. But, sometimes the appeal of crispy pork is just too good to turn down. I found this recipe for pancetta mac n' cheese in Bon Appetite magazine.
Frying up some pancetta.
I halved the recipe, and used two different kinds of cheddars (from Bravo Farms) we picked up from our farmer's market. These cheddars were hormone-free and locally sourced. If you're going to eat cheese, I think that is the best way to do it. The extra cost is worth it. The extra sharp cheddar was pungent, while the jalapeno added a slight kick. I thought these would pair well with the smoky pancetta.
Measuring out the milk for the cheese sauce.
AJ helped grate the cheese, while I fried up the pancetta. While that was in the works, I boiled some whole-wheat rotini. The spirals allow for maximum cheese coating! Once the pancetta crisps up, I made a roux in the pan. The roux is what will make your sauce thick. Then you add the milk. When the milk-pancetta mixture has reduced some, you remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese. The pasta is stirred into the sauce and then poured into a casserole dish. Bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes, and dinner is ready.
Mixed greens salad with pancetta mac n' cheese.
The macaroni and cheese was wonderful. Once you have made your own, you will never go back to eating kraft from a box. The cheeses were strong, and paired well with the smoky pancetta. The pasta dish pairs well with a light mixed greens salad. Warm and gooey, this dish comforts the stomach and the soul.