This isn't my recipe, it's from The Pioneer Woman- see here for original recipe- and I make the same recipe but make a few changes. I use penne pasta instead of macaroni, and I use about 6-7 cups of pasta (2/3-3/4lb.) instead of just 4 cups. I also caramelize the onions a bit longer- do these to taste, if you will. And lastly, the cheese. I have used a bunch of different kinds of cheese in this- I always use the 4 oz. goat cheese but the other 1.5 cups of cheese can be really whatever you like- I've used nice cheddars and hard parmesans and I've also used shredded cheddar out of the bag, all with delicious results. So don't feel like your wallet has to stretch too far for this one- you don't have to use expensive cheese, but do use the goat cheese. It adds a creaminess like nothing else.
But enough talk- let's get to the pictures from my latest batch.
|Here's the full arsenal, with hidden salt and pepper shakers in that back right corner. Here you can see what type of cheeses I used and everything.|
|Cook your pasta as directed, but for about 3/4 of the time.|
|Slice your onions thinly, the caramelize until they look like...|
|THIS! A batch of caramelized onions like this takes about 15-20 minutes on low and can make almost any dish fantastic!|
|Start your roux off with the butter and flour...|
|Then add your milk and 1/2 and 1/2 and let boil for a few minutes to thicken.|
|Toss in your 1.5 cups of cheese- this is all cheddar.|
|Then toss in the goat cheese and wait for the angels to sing!|
|Add 2/3 of the bacon and caramelized onions and stir well to combine.|
|And at the end of all of these steps you get... heaven. This is heaven in a dish, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else! Nice and crispy on top with the onions and bacon, and creamy, cheesy, and fantastic on the inside. Dig in!!|
I really hope you try this. It'll knock your socks off. If you're accommodating vegetarians, don't put any bacon fat in to do the onions, and use the bacon to garnish instead of baking it in. Or split into two dishes so the omnivores can get the whole package!