Chef Christopher Collins from Common Ground Culinary shares a wonderful recipe for a great side dish.

INGREDIENTS

for bacon and blonde roux

• 8 ounces of small diced

• 2 tablespoons of butter

• 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cup of Half & Half

for macaroni mix

• 1 pound of dry pasta (suggestions: pipette, elbow or cavatelli)

• 1 pound of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

• 3/4 cups of sour cream

• 1/2 cup of cottage cheese

• ½ teaspoon of salt

for bread crumbs

• 1 cup breadcrumbs (crumbled stale white bread)

• 2 tablespoons of melted butter

• 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper

• 1 teaspoon of garlic salt

• 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano

• 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot over medium-high heat sauté diced bacon in butter until golden brown.

Lower heat to medium-low and add the flour

We are using the butter and fat from the cooked pancetta to create a blonde roux.

Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the flour begins to take on a little color, approx. 5-6 minutes.

Once the roux is a golden blonde, add half & half and turn heat back to medium-high, stirring constantly throughout this process.

Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, roux will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon then turn heat down to low.

Hold Sauteed Bacon and Blonde Roux on low until ready.

Cook dry pasta 2 minutes less then instructed by package.

Drain pasta and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add remaining ingredients and gently fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.

Add Sauteed Pancetta and Blonde Roux to mixing bowl and gently fold together.

Spray a 9 x 13” baking dish with cooking spray.

Place Macaroni Mix in baking dish.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently toss for breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Top macaroni mix evenly with shredded sharp cheddar.

Top shredded sharp cheddar evenly with perfect breadcrumbs

Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, approx. 30 minutes

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving

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