This one isn’t for the faint of heart. First of all, there is butter. And cream. And whole milk. And two types of cheeses. And bacon. Hallelujah.
Wait…! Before you leave ALFS forever stay with me on this one. It’s getting cold, right? An extra pound or two can’t hurt in fact it helps. Winter is harsh! And let’s be honest here, it’s not like you’d eat this everyday. This is for that special ‘my stomach needs some love’ kind of a day.
Boy is it worth it.
Curtis Stone thinks so too, in fact this is his recipe and surprise surprise – it’s perfection. Hey, if he can eat it you can eat it. Yum all around.
- 6 slices Bacon (cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips)
- 1/2 cup chopped Shallots
- 2 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 3 1/2 cups Whole Milk (or as needed)
- 1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream (or as needed)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded White Cheddar Cheese (about 6 ounces)
- Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1 pound Penne
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (melted; plus butter for the baking dish)
- 2/3 cup Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
- Cook the bacon in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until golden brown about 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and reserve.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings. Add the shallots to the bacon drippings.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until translucent about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the flour.
- Cook the flour for 1 minute stirring constantly.
- Gradually whisk in the milk and cream.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and gradually add the cheese stirring to blend.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water for 8 minutes stirring often to prevent it from sticking.
- Drain the pasta and stir together with the bacon and cheese sauce.
- The sauce will look loose but will continue to thicken once the pasta is added.
- If the sauce begins to thicken too much add more milk or cream to thin it to the desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Butter a casserole dish and transfer the pasta mixture.
- Sprinkle the parsley over the pasta mixture then stir some of it into the pasta mixture.
- Preheat the broiler.
- In a small mixing bowl toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter to coat well.
- Season with salt and sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the pasta.
- Broil until the topping is golden brown watching closely about 2 minutes.