Mac & Cheese which is also known as Macaroni & Cheese. IT’S MY COMFORT FOOD!!
Traditionally, macaroni are used to prepare this dish. However, there are a lot of variation which uses short pasta like Penne, Fusilli and like this recipe, uses Mini Conchiglie (shell pasta).
I prefer using shell pasta or fusilli as I feel that they hold the sauce better. Its really up to your preference on the choice of short pasta.
Mac & Cheese are pasta stirred into cheesy Béchamel Sauce (also known as Mornay Sauce). *do not boil the pasta until fully cook. Ensure the pasta still have some chewy bite to it (about 90% cooked). As you will continue to cook in the sauce and also bake in the oven.
It also depends on the type of cheese used, the sauce can be very stretchy and gooey. According to Tyler Florence’s Inside the Test Kitchen Cookbook, cheese cut into cubes will provide a stretchier sauce as compare to using shredded ones. He recommended using Muenster Cheese for the stretchiest sauce ever, if not Guoda or Jack Cheese.
I used Cheddar cheese and Mozzarella Cheese as this is more commonly found in neighbourhood supermarket and for a creamy and stretchy consistency.
I also did not indicate the quantity of salt require as it very much depend on the type of cheese used. The cheddar I used was very salty as such I did not add any salt. Do taste and season accordingly after adding in the cheese.
Also, to provide a different texture to this dish, breadcrumbs are added and baked in oven to crisp up the crumbs. BEWARE! You will be indulging in both cheesiness and crunchiness in very bite! Oh yeah with smokiness from the bacon too!
I’m a big fan of truffle. So I drizzled some truffle oil to give an extra punch. This is optional.
- 120g Short Pasta (Macaroni, Penne, Fusilli or Mini Conchiglie Shell)
- 1 litre water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 30g Unsalted Butter
- 200ml Heavy Cream
- 300ml Milk
- 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Sprig Thyme (leaves only)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 70g Cheese (Cheddar, Gouda, Jack, Munster or any preferred hard cheese; 1 cm cubed or shredded)
- 100g Mozzarella (Cubed or shredded)
- 4 slices of Bacon (about 120g); diced
- 2 tablespoons Breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons Truffle Oil (Optional)
- 1 tablespoon chives (Chopped)
- Preheat the oven @ 250 degree Celsius or Air Fryer at 200 degree celsius
- Boil 1 litre of water in a deep saucepan over medium heat
- When boil, reduce the heat to medium low
- Add in salt, pasta and continue to boil for another 10 mins or until the pasta is about 90% cooked (with some chewy bite to it)
- Drain and set aside
- Melt the butter in a heated pan over medium low heat
- Add in bacon and fry until brown
- Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside for later
- Use the remaining bacon fats and butter in the pan
- Add in both the milk, heavy cream, thyme and bring to low boil
- Add in cheese, pepper and bacon (save about a tablespoon of bacon for topping later)
- Stir until the cheese melted
- After the cheese melted, sdd the strained pasta and mix well
- Taste and season if necessary
- Slowly pour the pasta and sauce into a baking casserole
- Top generously with breadcrumbs and bake in oven/air fryer for about 5 mins or until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown and crispy; air fryer baking time will be about 2 mins
- Remove the casserole from the oven, top with the remaining bacon and chopped chives
- Drizzle truffle oil over the pasta and serve