Bacon and Pea Mac and Cheese Recipe
A variety of ingredients will taste great in macaroni and cheese and bacon and peas are always a good choice. This mac and cheese recipe is prepared a little differently than most recipes—instead of making a cheese sauce in a separate pan, it is prepared in the same pan that the noodles are cooked in. The sauce does not require any actual cooking and is a combination of reserved pasta water, Greek yogurt, and cheese. This method of preparing mac and cheese is a little healthier than using the traditional butter, flour and milk mixture. It is important to make sure that the reserved pasta water is hot and the noodles are still hot when mixing the sauce ingredients in. There is no baking involved in this recipe, everything is prepared on the stove-top. Enjoy. Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride.
8 ounces penne pasta
8 ounces frozen peas
4 thick slices of bacon (cut into small pieces)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
dash of hot sauce
4 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded)
4 ounces fontina cheese (shredded)
Step 1: Heat a medium sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook until crisp. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions, until al dente. Add the peas to the pasta water during the last minute of cooking. Before draining the pasta and peas, reserved 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and peas. Immediately return the pasta and peas to the pot. Add ¼ cup of the pasta water to the drained pasta and peas (the pasta water must be hot), the Greek yogurt, a few dashes of hot sauce, and 1/3 of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.
Step 3: Stir in the remaining cheese, a little bit at a time to prevent clumping. Add additional pasta water as needed to thin out and melt the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bacon, mix well, and serve.
(Makes 4 Servings)