Family recipes are the best recipes, and they’re passed down from generation to generation for one reason: they’re freakin’ amazing. I’ve said this before but my Grandma Hayes is one of the best cooks I know – the woman can seriously make anything, and whatever that “thing” is, it’s always flawless. I consider myself lucky to have inherited those genes. I rarely alter her recipes, but today I did and I think Grandma would approve. I added bacon, because everything is better with bacon. This Hayes Farm Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon is out of this world and if you’ve never had the opportunity to sit around the huge farmhouse-style table Erma Hayes has in her kitchen, you’ll feel like you’re right there.
It sounds obvious, but picking quality cheese is key to this recipe. A combination of high quality Gouda and sharp cheddar really give this dish a tangy and cheesy bite. Another key to success here is to make your bacon, extra crispy… because who likes soggy bacon? Exactly, no one. Place in a large baking dish or tiny sized dishes like I did. Whatever way you scoop it, it’s delicious.
4 cups dried corkscrew pasta
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups fat-free half and half
2 teaspoons dry mustard,
½ pound smoked Gouda cheese
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 pound bacon
- Cook pasta for about eight minutes, or until al dente.
- Grate all of the cheese and set aside.
- In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly.
- Pour in half and half with mustard, whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
- Add in cheese and stir until melted, then add Creole seasoning.
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce
- Pour into a dish and set aside.
- Fry bacon on stove until crispy. Once completely cooked, set aside and allow to cool. Cut bacon into small pieces and sprinkle on top of pasta.
- Place in a preheated 350 degree oven, for ten minutes.