California Mac 'n' Cheese with Bacon
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons Real California butter, plus more for the baking dish
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced, or 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups Real California whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups Real California ricotta fresca, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Real California white Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Real California sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 6 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse with hot water, and set aside.
- Heat an oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the scallions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the flour and stir until well blended. Add the milk and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the ricotta and 1/4 cup of each of the Cheddar cheeses, stirring until the cheeses melt. Add the macaroni and salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the macaroni mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with small spoonsful of the remaining 1/4 cup of ricotta and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of each of the Cheddar cheeses. Top with the crumbled bacon and bake until lightly browned and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Recipe and photo used with permission from: California Milk Advisory Board