Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Dream In Macaroni

Chances are, your life has been touched in one way or another by mac and cheese. As it happens, I am a huge fan of the mac and cheese meal and It's a kids dream. But this ain't your ordinary Kraft dinner. This is a Fancy Pants Bacon and Tomato mac and cheese. Imagine taking the freshness of a BLT and putting it in a cheesy pasta casserole. It's divine!!

3 cups (8oz) uncooked rotini pasta
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt shopping list
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups milk
4 oz cream cheese
2 cups (8oz) shredded sharp chedder cheese
1/2 lb bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole.

Cook pasta according to package directions, but just shy of al dente.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in 2-quart saucepan. Whisk in flour, salt, mustard and pepper, and hot sauce; cook and stir 1 minute. Whisk in milk. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Add 4 oz of cream cheese. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese; stir until melted.

Add cheese mixture and bacon to pasta; stir until well blended.

Transfer to buttered baking dish. Bake uncovered 20 minutes.

Arrange tomato slices on casserole. Bake additional 5 to 8 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and tomatoes are hot.

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