Celebrity Home Chef #6 (A Man!!!) and His Surprising Mac N’ Cheese

Hi everyone! Please meet the next Celebrity Home Chef in our January series, Dennis Dawson, a fine artist originally from Ohio. Dennis is sharing his family and friend pleaser mac ‘n’ cheese. He tells us that this recipe probably came from food and wine mag. He has changed it and adapted it to his family’s tastes and added vegetables as a way to get his son to eat more vegetables. It has been a hit with kids despite the vegetables. It’s also not as heavy since it does not require a bechamel sauce.

Please enjoy it and keep sending in these great recipes!

Extravagant mac & cheese

3/4 -1 lb. elbow macaroni
1/2 cup pancetta diced (or applewood smoked bacon)
1T unsalted butter
1T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion finely diced
1/4 cup celery finely diced
1/4 cup carrots finely diced
pinch of nutmeg
1-11/2 cup chicken or veg. stock
1 cup heavy cream
1cup vermont sharp cheddar cheese-shredded
1 cup peas
1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)

cook macaroni according to directions and drain
heat oven to 375 degrees
coat a shallow medium sized backing dish with spray
heat butter and olive oil in a deep saute/fry pan or small dutch oven
add pancetta and cook over medium high heat until crisp
add onions,carrots, and celery and cook until tender (5-7 min)
add nutmeg and cook 1 min
add stock and simmer until almost evaporated
add cream and simmer until beginning to thicken (3-5 min)
add shredded cheese and stir to melt and mix with sauce until smooth
add frozen peas and cook (2-3 min)
add reserved drained macaroni and stir. ( I find that the entire 1lb. is a little too much. approx. 3/4 lb. is enough )
transfer all contents to the baking dish and sprinkle top with bread crumbs if using.
bake in oven for 10-15 min until golden brown on top.
serve warm


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