Baked Mozzarella Mac and Cheese

Baked Mozzarella Mac and Cheese

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Talk about an indulgent meal. This mac and cheese casserole will satisfy anyone who tastes it. It is also made with Gruyere cheese, crispy bacon and toasted breadcrumbs.

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Time needed

40 min preparation + 55 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 (1/4 lb.) bacon slices, diced
  • 1/3 (16 oz.) package uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 T. whole wheat flour
  • 1 C. low-fat warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 C. freshly grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 C. freshly grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 T. heavy cream
  • 1/4 C. toasted breadcrumbs

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Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Use a skillet to cook the bacon over medium heat for about 8 minutes, which is how long it should take for the bacon to turn crispy. Remember to stir periodically when cooking. When finished, use paper towels to drain the bacon and then get rid of any excess drippings. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente and then drain. Use a large skillet to melt the butter over medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and whisk in the flour until the ingredients reach a smooth consistency.

Cook and whisk regularly for 2 minutes, or until the flour-butter mixture becomes golden brown. Carefully whisk in the milk and cook and whisk for about 3 minutes, which is when the mixture should be thickened. Whisk in the mustard, salt, pepper, red pepper, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir until the mozzarella cheese melts and then remove the cheese mixture from the heat. Season with salt to your liking.

Stir together the cooked pasta, cheese mixture, 1/2 of the bacon, and the egg yolk. Once well blended, stir in the Gruyere cheese and the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Transfer the mac and cheese into a 8-inch cast-iron skillet that is buttered. Top with the remaining bacon, heavy cream and breadcrumbs. Bake in your preheated oven for 35 minutes, which is around how long it should take for the pasta to be golden and bubbly. When finished, let the pasta stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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