• 1 pound corkscrew-shaped pasta
  • Salt
  • ½ pound center-cut bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sharp, yellow cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 cups jalapeño jack cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 rounded tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 box frozen peas
  • Pepper


Serves: 4-6 servings


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and undercook the pasta, about 7 minutes, until just under al dente.

While the pasta cooks, heat a large, deep, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

Add another tablespoon EVOO to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Add onions and cook till soft, 4-5 minutes. Add flour and cook another minute or two before adding the chicken broth — it should look real pasty and thick. Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the mustard. Lower heat and add 1 ½ cups of each cheese. Stir to melt, 1 minute. Adjust seasoning with mustard, salt and pepper, to your taste.

Preheat broiler and set rack 12 inches from heat.

Drain pasta well. Combine pasta and veggies with the cheese sauce, stir in chopped parsley, then pour into large casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.

Transfer dish to broiler to melt and brown cheese, about 2 minutes, and serve.