Do you love Mac and cheese? For me macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. With the weather getting much cooler I just want to eat something warm and comforting like this cheesy, creamy goodness baked pasta.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup roughly chopped bacon
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup diced fresh tomato
½ box of pasta ( penne, elbow or ziti) – cook to al-dente
2 cups of milk ( I used 1% fat)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp of pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a pan over the medium heat, render the bacon fat until brown and crispy. Remove and drain the bacon on paper towel. Remove all the bacon fat. In the same pan, add in the olive oil. Stir in the chopped onion, cook until it’s lightly brown.
2. Add in the flour. Stir and cook until the flour turn lightly brown. Add in the milk, stir well and bring it up to boil. Once the sauce thickens, add in the cheese.
3. Once the cheese melted, turn off the heat. Add in pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the pasta, chopped tomato and the bacon. Reserved some of the bacon for garnish.
4. Transfer the pasta into a baking dish and bake it in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top of the pasta lightly brown. Garnish with bacon bits and serve warm.