- Prep time
- 20 minutes
- Cook time
- 35 minutes
- 6-8 portions
This indulgent classic is everything one wants in comfort food—it's creamy, cheesy and it has bacon.
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ pound gruyere, shredded
- ½ pound aged cheddar, shredded
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 16 ounces cellentani pasta, cooked
- ½ pound bacon, lardons, rendered to desired crispness
- ¼ bunch thyme, chopped
- 1 cup panko
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Using a 4-quart sauce pot melt ¼ cup butter. Add flour and bay leaf, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2 minutes . Slowly add the milk while whisking to avoid lumps. Completely incorporate ¼ of the milk at a time before adding more. Bring milk mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add cream, bring back to a simmer. Turn heat to low and whisk in the shredded cheese and ¼ cup of the grated parmesan. Stir until cheese has completely melted. Place cooked pasta and rendered bacon in a large mixing bowl. Pour cream sauce over the top, mix until pasta is well coated. If sauce is too thick it can be thinned with additional milk. Spoon pasta into a baking dish.
In a seperate bowl, mix panko, thyme, remaining parmesan and ¼ cup melted butter. Sprinkle panko mixture over the top of the pasta and bake until top is golden brown.