I promised last week that I would share this experimental recipe with you if it didn’t go awry. Well, it was a success! Even my children ate it! It was so yummy and it makes lots of mac n cheese so you can either fill lots of tomato cups or you can have a casserole dish of just the mac. It is creamy and cheesy and awesome! The perfect hit of salt and smoke from the bacon. The tang of the tomato. I think I’ll have to make it again soon!
Here is what you will need:
1 (8-oz.) package elbow macaroni
3 strips of bacon, diced
½ sweet onion, diced
¼ C. butter
¼ C. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ C. shredded parmesan cheese
1 ½ C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
½ C. seasoned bread crumbs
4 large tomatos, top cut off and seeds removed to make a cup
To start, cook the pasta according to package until al dente. Drain. Preheat oven to 425.
While the pasta is cooking, cook up the bacon until it is crispy over medium high heat. Remove bacon from the pan and allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of the bacon fat in the pan and return it to the heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Place it on the towel lined plate with the bacon. Clean out the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and add the butter.
(This is the part that most people, like me, don’t realize you have to do slowly. It is making the sauce for the whole dish.)
Once the butter is melted, slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. When the butter and flour mixture is thick and begins to stick together kind of like a dough, its time for the milk. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly until the roux is fully incorporated and there are no lumps. Turn off the heat.
Little by little add the cheese, whisking constantly so that no lumps form. Once all the cheese is melted and incorporated you can add the bacon and onions back in.
In a large bowl, pour the pasta. Then add the cheesy sauce to the pasta and mix well.
Arrange the tomatoes in a casserole dish, cup side up and season them with salt and pepper. Begin scooping the mac n cheese into the cups. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and a little olive oil. Pop them in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
For the leftover mac n cheese, put it in a casserole dish and top with the bread crumbs. Bake it alongside the tomatoes for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Then serve up those fabulous tomatoes filled with cheesy, bacony goodness! YUM!