What’s Cookin’?: Meet Mac

Baked mac and cheese was the first dish I ever made for Brendan.  He had previously made me mac, and after I told him several times that mine was better, he finally let me make it for him.

I made him a Katie-mac-and-cheese-convert for life.  This is one of his most frequently requested meals.


Set oven temperature for 320. Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven.

I don’t really have a recipe for this, but I start with about five or six slices of bacon, with a majority of the fat trimmed off. After cutting it into bite size pieces, I add a half teaspoon (or so) of EVOO and cook the bacon until just cooked at medium-high heat.  While this is happening, boil a pot of water, lightly salted for pasta. I usually use campanelle because it looks cool, but really anything will do.

Tear up three or four pieces of  bread for the topping and set aside.

Add half of a chopped onion to pot.  Cook until the onions have softened, stirring all the while.

After the onions have cooked, add three to four cloves of minced garlic.  Stir for about fifteen seconds till fragrant.

At this point you want to turn down the heat to low, and add a tablespoon of butter and EVOO, 1/3 of a cup of flour and maybe a 1/4 of a cup of milk.

Stir stir stir, to make a nice bechamel.

At this point add one 8 oz block of white cheddar, shredded, reserving some for topping, and maybe 2 cups of gouda shredded, reserving some for topping.

Add the cheese, and stir stir stir.

Now it’s time for the seasoning. Add cayenne pepper and nutmeg to taste. I don’t have measurements for this, I just  gradually add the spices until the nutmeg comes through the spicy kick of the cayenne.

Pour drained pasta into cheese mixture, stir gently.

Pour pasta into bake ware. FYI, I adjust the amount of bechamel  and pasta depending on how many we are feeding.

Add bread crumbs and  cheese.

For a small dish like this, I bake it for about 3-5 minutes until it is all melted and wonderful.  Then I turn the broiler on for about 2-3 minutes.. Watch carefully!! I can’t tell you how many times I have ended up burning the mac because I was distracted.

Pull out of the oven and enjoy! I like to have this with a nice crisp salad.. Yum!

I sometimes let it  become more brown so you get a lot of crispy-ness… We were just hungry and took it out before it got really brown.

I hope you like my mac. : )




One thought on “What’s Cookin’?: Meet Mac

  1. omg I’m so hungry right now. I love me some mac-and-cheese but cheese is so expensive here! We don’t eat a lot of dairy products in Malaysia (staple being rice) so they do cost a bit. But whenever i’m Stateside, I love having some mac-and-cheese!

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