Grown Up Mac N Cheese

I looked in the fridge today and I realized I had too much cheese! I had a chunk of goat cheese and parmigiano-reggiano left from other dishes I made a couple weeks ago. I didn’t know what to do with all of it so I googled goat cheese recipes and this is what I found. I went through the recipe and realized I already had most of the ingredients. I just had to pick up some fresh parsley and since Khanh is a bacon-head, I picked up some thick cut bacon to add to the recipe. I followed the directions completely, only I cut the recipe in half because the one I’m posting serves 8. Before I started cooking the mac, I prepared my bacon. For half this recipe I used 3 strips of bacon. If you want to add bacon to the full recipe I’d use 6 strips. I like to cook my bacon in the oven because it’s less messy and doesn’t leave as much grease on it. If you have a metal baking sheet and a cooling rack that would be ideal, if not, you can use a broiling pan. Put the cooling rack on the baking sheet, lay the bacon strips on top and broil. It doesn’t take long so you’d have to stay close to the oven and watch them. When the bacon is crisp take it out and wait for it to cool and chop it up. When you pour the cheese sauce over the pasta add the bacon and mix. That’s how I prepared mine, but if you don’t like bacon it still tastes great without it!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound(s) penne
  • 3 cup(s) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup(s) finely chopped sweet onion
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 10-ounce log goat cheese
  • 6 ounce(s) sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 packed cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup(s) sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon(s) chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoon(s) chopped thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 large egg yolks

before it went in the oven:

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° and butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta; return it to the pot.
  • 2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer with the onion and garlic. Transfer 1 cup of the cream to a bowl and whisk in the flour; return the mixture to the saucepan. Whisk over moderate heat until thickened, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the goat cheese, cheddar and half of the Parmigiano until melted. Whisk in the sour cream, parsley, thyme and zest and season with salt and white pepper. In a bowl, gradually whisk 1 cup of the sauce with the egg yolks, then whisk the mixture into the saucepan.
  • 3. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat. Spread the pasta in the cast-iron skillet and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano. Bake for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Let the mac and cheese rest for 15 minutes, then serve.

done baking:

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