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April 8, 2020

Mac ‘n Cheese with Pancetta Crumbs

Posted on March 3, 2020 by in pasta

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Mac 'n Cheese with Pancetta Crumbs

Is my Mac ‘n Cheese with Pancetta Crumbs the ultimate mac ‘n cheese recipe? My husband thinks so and devoured every last crumb.

Making the Mac ‘n Cheese with Pancetta Crumbs was like my therapy to deal with the empty nest syndrome. Yip, without any prior warning, they are both gone. My not-so-little-Madam is at res and her brother and a couple of friends have decided it is time to grow up a little and move away from the comforts of mom’s home.

Mac n Cheese with Panchetta Crumbs

My first thought always….. what are they going to eat? So, yesterday I made Mac ‘n Cheese to freeze and send back with them after the weekend’s visit. Ok, I know, I am over-bearing. I am a first timer.

The reason for the pancetta crumb is not to sound overly pretentious, it is a practical reason. I made one big pot of mac ‘n cheese without any meat for all of us. However boy-child is a vegetarian, so I added the pancetta crumbs afterwards for us meatlovers.

Mac n Cheese with Panchetta Crumbs

Mac ‘n Cheese with Pancetta Crumbs

serves 6

Ingredients

500 g macaroni pasta

salt

100 g butter

125 ml flour

1 liter milk

salt/pepper and BBQ seasoning of your choice – you could also use smoked paprika

250 ml grated parmesan

250 ml grated mozzarella

100 ml chopped chives

nutmeg

200 g pancetta

Mac n Cheese with Panchetta Crumbs

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C. Take the pancetta and lay it on a baking sheet in single layers. Bake until crispy while you make the mac ‘n cheese. Just keep your eye on it. When the pancetta is crispy, remove from the oven. Fill a pot with water, add about 10 ml salt and bring to the boil. As soon as the water  is boiling, add the pasta and cook until soft, but still al dente. Drain the pasta and keep until needed.

Use the same pot (no kids to do the dishes), add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a roux. Add the milk, bit-by-bit, while whisking with a metal whisk. Continue stirring while adding all the milk. The sauce will thicken and then you can add the parmesan, salt, pepper, BBQ seasoning and chopped chives. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the pasta and stir through. Transfer the pasta into 6 containers to freeze or into a casserole to bake it. If you are baking it, top with the mozzarella and bake in oven until golden and bubbly. This takes about 15 minutes. Place pancetta in a food processor and blitz until it has a fine crumb. Sprinkle over some of the mac ‘n cheese portions. If you are making freezer portions, allow the mac ‘n cheese to cool completely, cover with plastic lids, label and freeze. Otherwise enjoy with a green salad.

Mac n Cheese with Panchetta Crumbs

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