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baked macaroni and cheeseIt’s Wednesday and the week has gotten away from me.

That seems to happen more at this time of year.  What do you think?  

I had something planned for Mondays on Main St. and that will have to wait until next week.

The combination of snow, snow days, and stuffy noses has taken its toll, but of course it will pass.  And, not soon enough.

Hopefully, we’ll all be feeling better tomorrow.

In the meantime, we are battening down the hatches for another storm here in the south.  This one looks to be bigger than the last, which makes for some definite news around these parts.

We took advantage of the fluffy snow and did a lot of this yesterday afternoon.

snow day

We headed over to this nearby hill and spent some time sledding. Next, it was a trip to the market for more supplies as we were preparing for another round of snow and possibly freezing rain.

macaroni and cheese with bacon and breadcrumbs

But, let’s get back to the mac and cheese.  Lately, we’ve been enjoying the combo of bacon and breadcrumbs, as with this meal.  The difference in the two recipes is the addition of the homemade cheese sauce (so easy).

skillet baked macaroni and cheese

I used a 1/2 pound of cavatappi pasta, but of course any noodle you have in the pantry will work in its place.  You could stop right here and have an easy meal, but the addition of the bacon and panko breadcrumbs gives the whole dish a little more oomph.

baked macaroni and cheese with bacon

I’ll be checking in tomorrow with another post or two (catching up on comments too) before I head for warmer weather and some time with a dear friend.

Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Breadcrumbs

Ingredients

1/2 lb cavatappi, cooked al dente
8 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
2 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (I used Applegate Sunday bacon)

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 °. Spray a 9-inch skillet with nonstick spray.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until smooth.

Add the cooked pasta to the prepared skillet. Pour in the cheese sauce, stirring well to combine.

Melt the remaining butter in the microwave. Combine the melted butter, panko bread crumbs, and bacon in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the cooked cavatappi and cheese sauce.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and breadcrumbs turn a light golden brown.

Serves: 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish

Allison {Main St. Cuisine}

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