I’ve been working on a fitness goal for a couple months now. When I started this endeavor, I told myself my celebration of completion would be this recipe. It’s easily one of my absolute favorite foods. The first time I made it, I was surprised at how easy homemade macaroni and cheese actually is, not to mention the depth of flavor compared to the boxed stuff. Next time you’re feeling gluttonous or want to celebrate, give this one a try; it never disappoints!
Grown Up Mac and Cheese
(Original recipe: Ina Garten)
6 ounces bacon
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed (I use the microwave)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra sharp Cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
A pinch of dry sage
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the bacon into chunks and fry until cooked. Drain and set aside.
Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook over for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the warm milk. Continue whisking for 1-2 more minutes, until thickened and smooth.
Off the heat, add cheeses, sage, chives, basil, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Fold in the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon. Combine well.
Pour the mixture into a 9×9 baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Tip: don’t be afraid to let the corners get brown and crusty; that’s my favorite part!