Jimmy’s Aspen’s Macaroni and Cheese with Jalapenos and Bacon
Serves: 6 as a side
- 13.25 ounces Barilla whole grain penne
- 4 cups fat-free milk
- 6 tablespoons butter (or a combination of rendered bacon fat and butter to equal 6 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 cups gruyere, grated
- 2 cups Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated
- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
- 12 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- salt & pepper to taste
- Pam a 13×9 baking dish and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, then set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, cook bacon. Allow it to cool, then crumble.
- Shred cheeses and finely dice jalapenos.
- In the same large pot in which you cooked your pasta, melt butter (or rendered bacon fat and butter combination). Add flour and whisk the roux, cooking for two minutes over low heat. Still whisking, slowly add milk. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook and whisk until sauce is thickened, about five minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and add cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add jalapenos and bacon, then cooked pasta. Stir until mixed.
- Pour mac and cheese into Pammed baking dish and top with Panko bread crumbs. If desired, lightly mist a little olive oil over the top of the bread crumbs.
- Bake for forty-five minutes or until top is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least five minutes.
- Serve and scarf down immediately!