I love home made macaroni and cheese, but sometimes, you have to bump it up a notch to extra delicious status. Crispy, salt bacon and tender leeks elevate this delicious creation to something truly delectable. If you want to serve some to the kids, you can try leaving out the leeks-but the bacon should stay!
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced finely
3 cups dry small pasta shells
pepper, to taste
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
Fry up the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan to a paper towel lined plate and then drain off all but about 1 tbsp of the fat. Add the chopped leeks and saute them until they are lightly browned and tender. Set aside.
In a medium sized pot over medium low heat, melt butter. Stir in the flour and continue to stir for a few minutes while it blends in, bubbling. Watch carefully-you don't want it to burn! Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly as you go, making sure to blend it well so you don't have any lumps. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring, until it thickens up. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
In a large bowl, mix together the bacon, leeks, cooked pasta, and sauce. Don't worry if it seems like a lot of sauce-the pasta will soak some up. If you want to make it extra cheesy, add another handful of just grated cheese. Scrape into a buttered 3 L casserole dish, top with a little extra cheese (I know, I'm awful aren't I? and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes, until warmed through and bubbly.
Serves 4, approximately