Bacon-Chipotle Mac and Cheese

This week is going by so fast, isn't it? I'm working from home this week and I feel like my days have been a blur of work activities intermixed with workouts, laundry, dishes, and organizing my pantry (which hopefully I will post about soon!).

I made this a couple nights ago. It was one of those nights where you can't figure out what to make and I was thiiiiiis close to ordering take out. Thankfully, Kris (that's my husband, I figure I can call him by name) was the optimist and figured we could throw something good together from what we had... he was right.

What makes this truly awesome is the hit of smoky, spicy flavor from the chipotle oil (ok the bacon helps too ya). I use Fustini's chipotle olive oil, which is fantastic. If you don't have chipotle oil, you could sub in a little chipotle powder. Just taste as you go, because a little goes a long way.

We felt a little guilty just having this decadent deliciousness for dinner, so we added a little simple spinach salad on the side... say THAT ten times fast. Enjoy! (Yet again, see if you can tell which plate is mine and which is my man's ;)

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

Chipotle-Bacon Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound bacon

1/2 pound short-cut pasta (can use gluten free)

1 Tablespoon flour (can use gluten free)

1/2 cup milk of choice (I use 2%)

1/4 cup Italian cheese blend

1/2 cup pepper jack cheese

1 scant Tablespoon chipotle pepper oil

S&P to taste

Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. remove and drain on paper towels, leaving rendered fat in pan. When cool, crumble into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, cook pasta until just shy of desired doneness. Reserve some of the starchy cooking liquid. Add flour to bacon fat and cook for about 1 minute. Add milk and stir until there are no lumps. Add cheese a small amount at a time, stirring until sauce is mostly smooth, then mix in pasta. Cook for a few minutes. Add a small amount of reserved starchy cooking liquid, more if sauce seems dry. Add chipotle oil and check seasoning. Stir in bacon and serve with a side salad or veggies.*



*or by itself, you rebel