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Sequels rarely best their original, but this one-pot mac 'n' cheese with bacon does just that.

Pasotto Mac 'n Cheese, the Sequel

serving time2


  • 1 to 2 strips of bacon, sliced into small pieces

  • Olive oil

  • 1 shallot, finely diced

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1/3 pound baby pasta shells

  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 ounces cheese blend (fontina, Parmesan, blue cheese), grated

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, add bacon and a splash of olive oil. Cook until bacon is crispy. Remove bacon and set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.

  2. To the same pan, add the shallot and a pinch of salt. Cook shallots for about 1 minute, then add the pasta and stir well. Add the stock to completely cover the pasta. Stir and continue to cook over high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, adding more liquid if it dips below the level of pasta in the pan.

  3. When pasta is almost done, lower the heat, add cheese and mix well. Stir for 2 minutes and remove from heat.

  4. Stir in heavy cream. Transfer to a plate, top with crispy bacon and enjoy!





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- Here we have macaroni and cheese one pot also known as pasotto mac and cheese. The sequel. And guess what? It's better than the original. Which has never happened in the history of the world. Except for now. Join me on this journey. The one pot mac and cheese, the pasotto mac and cheese has been a big hit. You've sent me photos from all over the world. So I thought we'd make pasotto mac and cheese the sequel. And start with bacon, because everybody loves bacon. This is one, or two depending on how much you like it, pieces of bacon sliced up. You can kiss it with a little bit of olive oil just to help. Just to help it out. Ooh la la. Spread it out so you make sure that you get good browning. And while that cooks, come over here quickly to your shallot. Time is of the essence. A lot of bacon fat has rendered. That is excellent. Excellent news. What I'm gonna do is pull the bacon out. Keep the oil, keep the bacon fat. And I'm gonna put these bits of crispy bacon on top of the dish at the end. Because that is classy as So the brilliance is the bacon fat is now the fat that we are cooking the shallots in. Yu have for to love that. Wooo. Salt, very important. So this will bring out the last bit of moisture. All right, now here's the part where all the Italians say, you're crazy, you're ruining our culture. But it's what makes a one pot macaroni and cheese. Put the pasta straight in. That's right. It's the pasotto method. Pasta risotto. pasotto. And not only does it give us just one pan to cook in but all the starch that comes off the pasta that would normally be dumped down the drain is kept in the dish. It's starchy, it's sludgy. So it's a fake roux, which means you do not have to add butter and flour. So there's less things to do and screw up. So give a little toast onto that. Just a tiny bit, get 'em shiny with fat and now come in with beer, white wine, stock, water, whatever you have. Make sure the pasta's covered. Go full blast. Work on your poetry. It's gonna get thick, it's gonna get starchy. You're gonna add a little more water, that's cool. And in the meantime you're gonna start grating cheeses. Today, we have fontina, white, mild. Creamy delicious. Parmesan, sharp, nice to finish with. And blue cheese. Funky. Barnyard hay horses. The trio is quite unbelievable. Look at the bubbles. They look more robust than just water bubbles. Because they're starchy fake roux bubbles. All right, fontina. Very soft. The biggest mistake you can make in a dish like this is using a pasta that's too big. Lets get some of the blue cheese in there. And let's get a little bit of parmy. Parmesan, funny fact it's called Parmesan because it comes from the town of Parma. We're five minutes in. Try the pasta, see where it's at cooking-wise. Firm, but close. So at this point, I would just add a little more broth just so the pastas are fully submerged underneath the liquid. All right, let's try the pasta one more time. Al dente but edible. So that means it's the perfect time to lower the heat. And start mixing in our cheeses. Because the pasta's gonna continue to cook. Unless, of course, you like the mushy pasta. And I totally understand that. Cheese is gonna be much easier to stir in when there's a lot of liquid present. At this point, you want to try and keep it moving. It's a lot of cheese in there. Things are gonna get sticky and burning. All right, this is wicked hot, as you can see. Heat is off. So I'm gonna add a little bit of heavy cream, just a tiny bit, because it gives you a little Which means, I don't know what. Here's our bacon. I'm gonna put it into our cheese bowl. Clearly ooey gooey. Do you see what's happening? What more do you want in a mac and cheese? I ask you, citizens. If you use a vegetable stock like this one you're gonna have a dark rich color. Beef stock, same thing. In a lot of ways, this is like a French onion soup with shells and cheese. Well, French onion soup has cheese too. Okay, look at that. It's gorgeous. Ah, it's so damn good. Here's the bacon bits. Ahhh. That's all she wrote. This is better than the original. Which never happens with sequels. Friends, make it, send me photographs of the digital nature. I want to know what you think.

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