Macaroni and Cheese with Leeks and Bacon

An Adult Twist On A Kid Classic

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

She may go by the name Scatteredmom online, but Karen really is anything but scattered when it comes to the kitchen.  Churning out tasty treats within view of the Georgia Strait on Canada's west coast, Karen will hand you an organized weekly meal plan or teach you how to make meals from scratch.  As Mom to a teenage boy, she knows exactly what it takes to keep kids full and happy-which has really come in handy with her job as the Food Editor at Yummy Mummy Club.

A strong supporter of Food Revolution who has been endorsed by Jamie Oliver himself, by day Karen can be found working as a special education teaching assistant, running a kitchen and showing teenagers how to cook nutritious meals for themselves.  By night, when she's not chatting on Twitter and answering cooking questions,  she writes her popular blog Notes From the Cookie Jar, or posting mouthwatering recipes over at Chasing Tomatoes.  Not afraid to give her opinion and passionate about community, Karen spoke at Blissdom Canada 2010 and her writing has been published in Canadian Living magazine, as well as in various online publications. 

Follow Karen on Twitter @scatteredmom