June 17, 2020

Macaroni and Cheese with Leek, Tomato, and Bacon

I feel like I am always stirring into my mac and cheese some chopped tomato or peas or other things to give it color and texture so this recipe is perfect for those of us who want a little more in our mac and cheese. I also love that this is a one-pot meal; everything goes in in the beginning and then gets simmered a while together-- no roux, only one pot to clean, and you can just walk by every few minutes and give it a stir. This came from The Pampered Chef's 29 Minutes to Dinner book that I once bought at a Pampered Chef party. That book actually holds several now-loved go-to recipes (I'm thinking of this tortellini supper, and these gyros)-- though the recipes are often written in a more complicated manner than they need to be, either because of unnecessary steps/dishes or because of the sheer distraction of reading multiple, bolded product names within each section of instructions. So I am happy to have a translated version here of what is actually a very easy recipe, so I will maybe use it even more.

Macaroni and Cheese with Leek, Tomato, and Bacon
adapted slightly from The Pampered Chef's 29 Minutes to Dinner

8 slices bacon
1 lb. cellentani or other medium pasta
5 C water
4 oz./1 C grated cheddar cheese
1 oz./1/3 C Parmesan cheese
4 oz./1/2 C cream cheese
1 t salt (or less)
1/2 t ground pepper (or less)
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise then into 1/2-in. slices
3 large plum tomatoes, diced

Slice bacon into thin strips and cook; set aside.

In large stockpot, place ALL other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer for 10 - 12 minutes or until pasta is cooked and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in bacon, or serve bacon as a garnish at the table.

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