Spinach & Bacon Mac 'n Cheese
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- 3 c
- uncooked bow-tie pasta (8 oz.)
- 1/2 lb
- bacon, sliced into ine-inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp
- 2 clove
- garlic, finely minced
- 2 small
- onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 c
- all-purpose flour
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 c
- 2 c
- shredded, mild or sharp cheddar cheese
- 6 oz
- fresh spinach leaves
- cherry tomatoes, for garnish, optional
1In 5-quart Dutch oven, cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Return to Dutch oven; cover to keep warm.
2Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until crisp; remove to paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings.
3In 3-quart saucepan, heat butter and reserved bacon drippings over medium heat until butter is melted. Add garlic and onion; cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in flour, salt and pepper with whisk until smooth. Stir in milk; heat to boiling. Stir in cheese until melted and sauce is smooth.
4Pour cheese sauce over pasta; stir until coated. Stir in spinach. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon; stir remaining bacon into pasta mixture. Divide pasta mixture among 6 serving bowls; garnish with reserved bacon.
5Garnish with cherry tomatoes, sliced green onions, or sliced baby bella mushrooms.