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Easy Mac & Cheese with a Kick

Easy Macaroni and Cheese with a Kick

Tell me… who doesn’t LOVE a big fat bowl of Mac & cheese? A CRAZY PERSON! That’s who! Now you’ll notice that I’m a little vague on measurements- this is because how much you need will be determined by how much you want to make. The amounts below will make 4-5 individual servings or one family sized pan. No matter how many people you are serving, assume that you will need at least 1 cup of cooked pasta per person (or 2 cups if you’re me…)


  • 1 cup cooked pasta per person (elbow or penne are perfect)
  • 2 heaping cups grated cheese ( Gruyere & Cheddar mix is great)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup diced panchetta (or diced bacon)
  • 1 small onion diced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • fine bread crumbs
  • about 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp dried chili flakes **optional**


First off,  cook your pasta so that it is slightly under cooked (because it will still need to bake) Rinse it and set it aside. Now, saute your panchetta on medium heat- you won’t need oil or butter as the panchetta has a lot of fat. Once it has rendered a bit (the fat melting in the pan) add the diced onion and saute until panchetta is a little crispy and onions are cooked.

In a seperate sauce pan make a roux- melt you butter and then add the flour and cook on medium for 2 minutes (this gets rid of the doughy flour taste) Then slowly add your milk while whisking. Turn up heat slightly and add mustard, salt & pepper and grated cheese (and chili flakes if using them) and stir until thickened.

In your pasta pot, pour the cheesy roux mixture into the noodles, add the panchetta and onion and then mix together. Pour into baking dish top with bread crumbs & fresh parsley and bake for about 20 minutes at 350.

**An excellent addition if you like things hot is a good sprinkle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce right before you serve.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

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