Bacon and Cheese Pasta
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 pieces bacon, diced, cooked, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon fat
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 400ml cream
- 550ml milk
- 1 tsp thyme
- 3 cups grated cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 500g penne pasta, cooked as per packet instructions
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- Seasonal salad of 60g salad greens, 1 grated carrot and 1 sliced tomato
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place onion and garlic on to tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up to seal then roast 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from foil.
3. Chop onion and garlic. Reheat reserved bacon fat over medium heat in a large pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in cream, milk and thyme. Reduce by a third. Stir in cheese until melted, creamy and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and gently stir in pasta. Place in a large casserole dish.
4. In a small bowl, mix together diced bacon, breadcrumbs, butter and parsley.
5. Top pasta with breadcrumb mixture and bake uncovered at same heat until bubbling and lightly browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serve with salad.
TIP: Short on time? Skip step 2 and go straight to step 3. Just cook onion and garlic a little longer until softened.
By Brett McGregor