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Mario's Makeover: Moist and Crunchy Mac and Cheese

7Sept 9Moist and Crunchy Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Panko
skill level
Easy
time
60-120min
servings
4
cost
$
Contributed by :
Moist and Crunchy Mac and Cheese Recipe: A heavenly layer of crisp panko crumbs coats the top of this irresistible pasta dish.
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ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons Salt
  • 1 pound Penne Pasta
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 8 strips of Bacon (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil
  • 12 ounces Sharp Cheddar (shredded; set aside 1/2 cup)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 cup Panko Style Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
kitchenware
step-by-step directions We've Made Cooking As Easy As 1-2-3! printer friendly version 
  • 1
    3 tablespoons Salt
    1 pound Penne Pasta
    1 tablespoon Olive Oil
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 3 tablespoons of salt. Set up in an ice bath next to the stovetop. Cook the pasta to 2 minutes short of the package instructions and then remove to ice bath and chill, then drain and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
  • 2
    8 strips of Bacon (about 8 ounces)
    In saute pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain excess oil. When the bacon has cooled, crumble into small bite size pieces. 
  • 3
    2 1/2 tablespoons Butter
    2 tablespoons Flour
    1 teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg
    1 teaspoon Paprika
    2 cups Milk
    While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, nutmeg and paprika and stir for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Whisk in the milk, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, whisking constantly for ten minutes till its thickened, smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes. 
  • 4
    1 cup Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil
    12 ounces Sharp Cheddar (shredded; set aside 1/2 cup)
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    Stir the Hellmann’s® and the grated cheddar (be sure and set aside 1/2 cup for later) and crumbled bacon into the cooled sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir the cooked and cooled penne into the cheese mixture and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar.
  • 5
    1 cup Panko Style Bread Crumbs
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    2 tablespoons Olive Oil
    For the Topping: In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs and parmesan and then add the olive oil and toss till the texture of moist sand. Spread breadcrumb mixture over the pasta. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling inside with a golden brown crust on top . Remove from oven and allow to rest a few minutes before serving.
 
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