Mirassou’s Macaroni and Cheese with Applewood Bacon

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 65 mins

A fresh take on everyone's favorite -- mac and cheese.

For a perfect accompaniment, try Mirassou's Monterey County Chardonnay.

Ingredients

1/2 pound macaroni or small shell pasta
4 ounces thick-cut applewood bacon
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 shallots, minced
12 ounces sharp white Cheddar, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook pasta al dente in boiling salted water as directed on the package. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta cooks, cut bacon into 1/4-inch pieces. Saute in a small pan until crisp and golden. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings. Return pan to low heat. Add bread crumbs and thyme to drippings and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. In a 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour, nutmeg and dry mustard. Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Whisk in milk in 1/2-cup increments, making sure to work the mixture smooth each time. Whisk in shallots; simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Turn off heat and whisk in 3/4 of the cheese. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni and bacon. Pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top and bake uncovered 45 minutes or until cheese and bread crumbs are golden.

Recipe by Mirassou Winery.

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