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.
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.
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.
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. : )