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"Betta with Pancetta" Mac and Cheese Cups

Serves 6

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus additional for topping
  • 1/2 cup shredded American cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, a couple pinches
  • Salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked 8 minutes or to al dente, with a little bite to it
  • Pam or other nonstick cooking spray, to coat
  • 6 slices pancetta
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a medium-size, deep skillet over medium heat. Add oil and butter. When butter melts into the oil, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Gently bring milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the milk to thicken a bit, then stir in cheese a handful at a time. Season sauce with nutmeg and cayenne. Add salt, to taste. Fold in cooked pasta to sauce.

Meanwhile spray cupcake tins with cooking spray and place one piece of pancetta into the mold of each cup, forming it into a cup shape. Bake 3 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy.

When pancetta is done, scoop a teaspoon of the mac and cheese mixture into each pancetta cup and sprinkle with a little more cheddar cheese. Bake until cheese has melted. Eat and enjoy!

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