Bacon and Leek Mac 'n' Cheese

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:00 AM, January 29, 2013

Aired January 29, 2013

Serves 4-6

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




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.