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Bacon Pesto Mac and Cheese

Bacon Pesto Mac and CheeseThis is classic comfort food kicked up with flavors that are sure to please! Complement the complex flavors of this hearty mac and cheese with a simple side such as steamed or roasted broccoli or asparagus spears. Recipe by Jenny Flake of picky-palate.com

Recipe Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 pound elbow macaroni
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 cups whole milk, or more as needed
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 ounces basil pesto

Cooking Directions:

  1. While the bacon is cooking, in a large saucepan or small stockpot, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Wipe out the saucepan or small stockpot and return it to medium heat. Add the butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheeses. Stir in the pasta and pesto. Set aside 1 cup of bacon and stir in the remaining bacon. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with the reserved bacon. (If mixture gets too thick as it cools, stir in additional milk.)

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Nutritional Information Not Provided.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of National Pork Board.