February 10, 2011

Mushroom, Bacon and Herb Mac and Cheese

I just finished eating this. Literally. Now. Five minutes ago. It's swimming in my belly. You know it's good when I run to my laptop to type up what I just finished saying to the husband about it. Kitchen is a mess. Dishes are sitting in the sink. Four pots are layered in cheese and bacon grease.

As soon as I popped it into the oven I was licking off the spoon. I was putting my finger into the pot. Creamy, delicious, white, cheesy sauce. I want to live in it. I want to make a house with doors made out of bacon and a mushroom ceiling (thank you husband for putting my feelings into words).  It smells good. It looks good. It tastes good

...you know what? I've made this before. Many times before. And every time I am drooling. I am a mac and cheese freak. I can't believe I haven't shared it till now (I know you're breathing a sigh of relief- it's not a chicken recipe). I can't take all the credit, I've adapted this from Annie's Eats Mushroom Herb Mac and Cheese. However, I change it up all the time. And I don't use fresh herbs. Sorry, dried is always on hand. I also use whatever cheese I have in the fridge. Tonight I had Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pecorino Romano. I also added bacon. This is by far the greatest combination ever. Must be why I'm over the moon about it tonight.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

1 lb. pasta shapes
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 lb. cremini (baby bella mushrooms), roughly chopped
1 shallot, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 strips of bacon, chopped
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. rosemary
2 tsp. thyme
1 ½ cup milk
½ cup Pecorino Romano Cheese
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
½ cup Mozzarella Cheese
½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions, just until al dente.  Drain the pasta, return to the pot, and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushrooms and shallots to the pan and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and almost all of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté about 1 minute more, just until fragrant.  Remove the pan from the heat, season the mixture with salt and pepper. Set aside. Add chopped bacon to pan. 

In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is completely melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden.  Stir in the herbs and whisk in the milk and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the mixture simmers and begins to thicken.  Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat.  Whisk in the cheeses until completely melted and smooth.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta.  Add the mushrooms and bacon mixture to the pot as well.  Toss well to thoroughly combine.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.  In a small bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, melted.  Toss with fork to coat the crumbs evenly.  Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the pasta in the baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

If you've already had dinner, make this. It can be your midnight snack.

Link up at I'm Lovin It and Saturday Swap.


  1. Christina, this macaroni and cheese looks heavenly! Definitely a wonderful dish to warm up to this winter. I love all of the different but complimentary flavors you used - Great job!

  2. I am a huge fan of macaroni and cheese too. Your version sounds delicious. I love all the cheeses...and the bacon too! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe with me. You never let me down! I hope you have a weekend of love and relaxation. We all need it, I think!

  3. Thanks for linking to Saturday Swap! I'm a huge Mac n Cheese lover, so I'm anxious to try this.

  4. Mac and Cheese is a favorite of mine too. It is a little different twist on Mac and Cheese so I will definitely try this.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  5. Mmmm! I'm not a mushroom girl, but the rest looks so yummy! Hope to try it soon. =)

  6. Oh my this is right up my alley! I saw this recipe at a blog hop and had to stop by. Loving alot of your recipes, I am your newest follower :)

    Check out my blog and follow back if you like!


  7. Yummy... Delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing!!


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