This fusion of a classic Italian dish and a nostalgic American favorite can be served as either a main course or a side dish.
By Denise Browning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 strips of uncooked smoked bacon, cut into small dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 – 7 cups whole milk, heated
- 4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese, plus more for the top
- 1-1/2 cups white Cheddar, plus more for the top
- 1-1/2 cups sharp yellow Cheddar, plus more for the top
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, plus more for the top
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for the top
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
- ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian parley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (about 177 degrees C). Grease the bottom and sides of a 3-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.
- In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, whisk in 6 cups of the hot milk, increase the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, for 3-5 minutes. Whisk in the light beaten egg yolks until incorporated and let cook for 1- 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chives, cayenne, and all of the cheese until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add some of the remaining milk ¼ cup at a time.
- Mix in the cooked macaroni, reserved bacon and chopped parsley, and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Combine together additional Asiago, Cheddars, Mozzarella, and Parmigiano cheeses in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the macaroni. Bake in the oven until heated through and the top is lightly golden brown (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Denise Browning is a native Brazilian foodie, trained Chef, cooking instructor, restaurant menu/recipe developer, and former lawyer. She is also the author of From Brazil To You - a blog that features Brazilian, fusion, and international dish recipes, stories, and photography of Brazil. Her writing has appeared in Cia Brasil Magazine, while her photography is frequently featured on Foodgawker, TasteSpotting, and Foodepix. She lives in Texas with her American husband and two children.