Macaroni & Cheese Carbonara


Hi Friends! Happy Saturday - hope you have some fun stuff planned for one of the last weekends of summer. :) We are heading out hiking this morning on a 10 km adventure which I am looking forward to a lot. I hadn't planned on blogging this recipe - I made it for my sister's BF's birthday dinner last night, but a number of people are asking for the recipe - so here ya go! I've changed the recipe quite a bit from the original recipe, but we loved it. Hope you enjoy it too!

Macaroni & Cheese Carbonara
Adapted from Bobby Flay's Throwdown

  • unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8-10 strips of bacon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 cups milk, hot (the recipe called for whole milk, but this is such a rich sauce recipe, skim or anything in between would also work here without impacting the taste)
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or less if you don't like heat)
  • 3/4 cup grated asiago cheese + 1/3 cup for the top
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, + 1/4 cup for the top
  • 1 * 250g tub of McLaren's Sharp Cold Pack Cheddar Cheese
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x 13 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan (remember you need to be able to fit 5 cups of milk plus all that cheese in here later) over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. Add the garlic to the remaining fat in the pan and cook until light golden brown, 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk, raise the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 5-6 minutes. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated (be careful here or you will end up with scrambled eggs!). Let cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the thyme, cayenne and all three cheeses until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If mixture is too thick, add additional warm milk, 1/4 cup at a time.
  4. Put the cooked macaroni in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce, reserved bacon and stir until combined. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
  5. Combine additional 1/3 cup asiago and 1/4 cup parmesan and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake in preheated oven until heated through - about 15 minutes. Then broil for 3-5 minutes until top is browned and crisp. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe is a little involved for mac and cheese - Bobby Flay's recipes tend to be a little on the heavy side (think dirtying every dish in your kitchen) but well worth the effort and the cleanup later. I've tried a lot of mac and cheese recipes (check out my archives for this blog and you'll see what I'm talking about), but I think this is one of the best one's I've made to date. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Cooking my Friends! Enjoy your weekend. :)

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