BLT Mac & Cheese


BLT Mac & Cheese

5 cups water
8 slices of bacon
4 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. uncooked cavatappi pasta
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 large leek (white and green portions only)
3 large plum tomatoes

To start pasta mixture, bring water to a boil in 8-qt. stockpot.

Meanwhile, slice bacon crosswise into thin strips. Place into 10-in. skillet; cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet to paper towel-lined plate.

As bacon cooks, grate cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Add pasta, cream cheese, grated cheeses, salt, and black pepper to boiling water in stockpot. Cover and simmer vigorously 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

As pasta mixture cooks, slice leek in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2-in. slices. Place into small batter bowl and swish in cold water to remove dirt; lift leeks out of water and stir into pasta mixture. Cook, uncovered, 5-7 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut tomatoes in half lengthwise; remove cores and scrape out seeds. Dice tomatoes; reserver 1/4 cup for garnish. Remove stockpot from heat; stir in remaining tomatoes and half of the bacon. Spoon pasta mixture into serving bowl and garnish with reserve tomatoes and bacon. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

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