Crowd Pleasers

Bacon, Leek and Tomato Mac and Cheese

Bacon, Leek and Tomato Mac and Cheese is a dish that pleases everyone with the familiar and satisfying flavors of a BLT sandwich. You just can’t go wrong with bacon, Wisconsin cheese and pasta. This mac and cheese is both kid-friendly and also satisfies a more mature palate with the creamy Wisconsin fontina and cheddar cheese sauce.

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Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces radiatori pasta
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry powdered mustard
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin fontina cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 slices thick cut slab bacon
  • 1 leek, finely diced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and set aside.

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 3-4 minutes; whisking frequently. Add mustard and milk, whisking to incorporate. Slowly add cheese, salt and pepper, whisking to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook 3 minutes.

In large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel to drain; reserving 1 tablespoon bacon drippings. Crumble bacon once cool.

Sauté leeks in reserved bacon drippings until translucent. Add bacon, leeks and tomatoes to cheese mixture. Stir gently to combine.

Pour pasta into buttered 2-quart baking dish; pour cheese sauce over top. Gently stir to combine. Bake 35 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.

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Semi-soft and semi-hard cheese, like Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella, should be very cold for easy grating.