Bacon, Fig, and Asiago Mac & Cheese

Just when I (and my thighs) thought we were in the clear with comfort food cravings, Boston’s been hit with a swell of gloomy, rainy weather, which, inconveniently, seems to only occur on the weekends. I’m not too disappointed, though — gives me a chance to make this dish which I thought I’d be waiting ’til the fall to try. The verdict: probably the best mac & cheese I’ve ever made or tried. The sweet fig, salty bacon, and buttery breadcrumb topping is ah-mazing. Thighs be damned. 😉

Bacon, Fig, and Asiago Mac & Cheese
Serves 2-3
Just the Tip / Inspired by The Avid Appetite

Here’s what I used:

  • 8 oz cavatappi (or any short-cut pasta)
  • 2 cups half and half (or a combo of milk and chicken broth)
  • 5 tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 6 oz shredded asiago cheese
  • 6 oz shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried mission figs
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and roughly chopped
  • salt, pepper, fresh nutmeg

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of water to boil. While that’s coming to a boil, prepare your topping. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a small dish in the micro. Mix in the breadcrumbs, figs, and chopped bacon and set aside.
  2. Once the water is boiling, salt it and drop the pasta. Start your roux by warming the half and half in a small sauce pan. In a large sauce pan, melt the rest of the butter (3 tbsp) over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk together for a minute or so to cook out the flour taste. Slowly stream in the warmed half and half, whisking constantly. Allow to simmer and thicken for a few minutes, then season with salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Stir in the cheeses until well incorporated.
  3. Drain the pasta when it is 1-2 minutes shy from al dente (it will finish cooking in the oven). Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the cheesy pasta to a baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over top and bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!

One thought on “Bacon, Fig, and Asiago Mac & Cheese

  1. Tamara says:

    This looks really delicious. A very adult mac & cheese. Thanks for posting!

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