I love this recipe! I found it on the food network and tweaked it a little for my personal taste. The original recipe has 1/2 a cup of blue cheese in it and when I made it with the blue cheese it was a little too strong for me, so I omit the blue cheese and add more white cheddar. If you're a blue cheese lover and want to try it with the blue cheese, scale back the white cheddar to 3/4 cup and add 1/2 cup of blue cheese. Every time I make this mac and cheese I get compliments. It is so good. It's a long process but the end result is so worth it. Enjoy everyone!
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.
In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and reserve. Saute the onion in the bacon drippings until soft. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter to the onion mixture and melt the butter stirring with a wooden spoon.
Using a wire whisk, add the flour, and stir constantly until well mixed, making a roux. Whisk in the mustard. Gradually add the milk and cream whisking constantly.
Add the thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Let come to a simmer and stir frequently for 15 mins.
Strain the hot milk mixture into a metal bowl and discard the solids. Working quickly mix in 1 cup fontina, 1/2 cup gruyere, 1 cup white cheddar, 1/2 cup parmesan, the reserved bacon, and parsley. Continue stirring until all cheese is melted.
Add the cooked noodles to the cheese mixture to coat. Add the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread crumbs together and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. Remove from oven when done and rest for 5 minutes.