Homemade macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite side dishes.... it's such a wonderful comfort food. The standard macaroni and cheese with cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, etc. is delicious, but sometimes it can be fun to create a new mix. Like this re-vamped version with guyrere cheese, peas and pancetta. This is not your normal mac and cheese. Yes, it's creamy and comforting but it's also a bit savory and rich. A new twist to a tried and true side dish.
8 oz of whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 cups of milk
3 oz of pancetta
1 cup of frozen peas
1 1/4 cups of gruyere cheese
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of flour
3 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a large stock pot, boil 6 cups of water with a dash of salt. Add macaroni and cook until al dente (approximately 8-10 minutes). Drain. Dice/chop the shallot and pancetta into small chunks and slivers of meat.
2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of buter, heat until melted. Add the shallots and pancetta to the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes until shallot is tender and pancetta is crispy on the edges. Remove from skillet.
3. Shred gruyere and parmesan cheese.
4. Lower heat in the skillet to medium. Add the two tablespoons of butter and heat until melted. Add the 2 tablespoons of flour to the butter and mix until thick.
5. Slowly add the two cups of milk to the butter/flour roux whisking constantly.
6. Allow the sauce to thick over the low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce whisk until melted.
7. Add the pancetta and shallot mix to the sauce. Lower the heat to low.
8. Add the macaroni and peas to the sauce.
9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Spoon macaroni and cheese into buttered individual serving dishes or a casserole dish. Sprinkle with a dash of parmesan cheese. Cook in the oven at 400 for about 10-15 minutes until the tops are lightly toasted. Serve with your favorite salad!