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I’m sure your inbox is, like mine — filled with important updates and requests for your attention. And it’s true, your support is incredibly important right now. But there's also room in our movement for love, warmth, and joy, so today I want to share my family’s favorite mac & cheese recipe. 

There is no better comfort food than homemade mac 'n' cheese. It’s cheesy, creamy, flavorful, and has bacon. In our house, cooking is not a science — we do it by the look and feel of the food, so take these measurements as suggestions. I always end up adding more cheese or milk at the end to get to the right consistency, so keep some extra warm milk and shredded cheese on hand!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 box cavatappi
  • 2T unsalted butter
  • 2T flour
  • 3c milk
  • 2T kosher salt
  • 2t fresh cracked pepper
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1t onion powder
  • ½ t dry ground mustard powder
  • paprika
  • 2T chicken bouillon (I like Better than Bouillon)
  • 1c gruyere/Fontina, shredded
  • 2c extra sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¼c gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1c smoked gouda, shredded
  • 1c panko bread crumbs
  • 3T bacon grease or EVOO
  • remaining chopped bacon
  • ½ c parmesan or pecorino/romano

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a casserole dish lightly with butter.
  2. In  a medium skillet or grill pan, fry bacon (8-10 min) until crispy. Drain on platter lined with paper towels. (Alternatively bake on wire racks for 15-20 minutes.) Either way – save 2T grease!
  3. Crumble bacon, when cooled.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente (6-8 minutes). Drain and rinse with cool water.
  5. In a small saucepan, warm 3c milk. 
  6. In a small bowl, mix seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, paprika, and chicken bouillon.
  7. In another saucepan, make a classic bechamel sauce. Melt 2T of butter. Add 2T flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk mixture until thick and smooth. Whisk in seasonings.
  8. Whisk in cheese until it is creamy.
  9. Pour sauce over the pasta. Toss in ¾ crumbled bacon. You may need to add the additional cup of milk or extra cheese for the right consistency for your personal perference.
  10. In a small frying pan, heat 2T bacon grease or EVOO. Add panko and saute until browned. Pour over pasta.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbling!


From my kitchen to yours, 

Alexis McGill Johnson, President & CEO
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Tags: communities, holiday

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