OMG! Awesome Macaroni and Cheese

What is up with this Weather?  We had a great stretch of warm weather with the air conditioning cranking and then poof – a cold snap.  The heat kicked on and I am hiding under a blanket.  With this cold-snap we needed to make something that warmed the old bones and used the oven.  Our dear daughter request a Mac and Cheese dish.  So while scouring through the recipes I found this one from my favorite blogs The Noble Pig.  I love this blog and have made a bunch of great recipes from there.  someday I might make it out to the wineries.  Might make a great wine trip with our peeps.

This recipe is rustic and decedent with the four different types of cheese and the bacon.  Trust me there is no calorie counting with this one….  I don’t want to know.  Hubby actual made this while I has hanging new curtains in our sons room.

Quadruple Cheese Macaroni with Smokey Bacon

1 pound rotini pasta
1 pound Applewood smoked bacon
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounces shredded mozzarella
8 slices American cheese slices
3 Tablespoon panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350o F.  Spray a 3-quart baking dish that can also withstand the broiler with cooking spray.  Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  Cook rotini pasta according to package directions and drain.
Cook bacon until crisp and transfer to a dish with paper towels to absorb the fat.  Pour of bacon fat drippings, reserving 2 Tablespoons in the pan.  Add 1 Tablespoon butter.
Whisk flour into butter and bacon fat until smooth and cook for one minute to remove flour taste.  Whisk in milk.  Stir in onion flakes, garlic power, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering about 2 minutes.  Toss together cheddar, Monterey Jack and mozzarella cheese.  Remove sauce from heat and whisk in the American cheese and about 1-1/2 cups of the cheeses.  Toss the bacon with the remaining shredded cheese.
Combine cooked pasta with the cheese sauce.  Pour half of it into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with a heavy-hand of the bacon-cheese mixture.  Repeat with one more layer.  Melt 3 Tablespoons butter and combine with 3 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle over the top layer.
Bake for 20 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes to get the top nice and brown and crunchy.

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