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  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 to 4 medium leeks, halved lengthwise then sliced 1/2-inch thick, rinsed and dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, warmed
  • A few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • 1 box cavatappi (hollow corkscrew-shaped pasta) or penne rigate pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Emmentaler Swiss cheese or Gruyre
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 round tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Serves: 4-6




Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.



Heat oven to 375F. Arrange bacon on a slotted broiler pan and bake until crisp, 15-18 minutes. Remove and chop; reserve.



Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; add leeks and garlic, and saut 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine or stock; allow liquid to almost evaporate and reserve over low heat.



In a sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute, add warm milk and simmer at a gentle bubble to thicken. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.



Season boiling water with salt and cook pasta to al dente.



Stir Swiss or Gruyre and cheddar into white sauce; remove from heat and stir in Dijon.



Combine pasta with bacon, leeks and cheese sauce. Place in a baking dish or casserole and top with Parm. Brown under broiler or cool and bake off from room temperature at 375F until brown and bubbly.