Bac’n Macaroni Cheese

This recipes combines meat free smoky bac’n lardons, with fried onion and pasta, in a creamy, rich dairy free cheese sauce. For this recipe I’m using a new product by THIS, which I bought from Tesco

DSC_0711-picsay.JPG

Other plant based bacon will work too, and if mock meat isn’t for you, then substitute it with the same amount of smoked tofu

Yield; 4 servings Cook time; 40 minutes

You’ll need;

  1. One 120g pack of meat free bacon/lardons. As mentioned I’m using plant based lardons by This. The pack pictured above is actually two 60g packs. So if you only want two servings, then just use one pack and halve everything else listed below
  2. Two teaspoons of oil
  3. One small brown onion
  4. 45g oil or dairy free butter/margarine
  5. 45g plain, all purpose flour
  6. 450ml warmed plant milk. I used Alpro fresh soya milk for this. Just a note about cooking with plant milk; the milk you use doesn’t have to be unsweetened. But make sure it’s no sweeter than dairy milk (so no more than 5g of sugar per 100ml) and doesn’t contain flavourings like vanilla for example
  7. 100g dairy free cheese. I used Epic Mature cheese by Violife, If this isn’t available where you are, just use your favourite dairy free cheese
  8. One teaspoon of dijon mustard
  9. 300g of pasta, please note that this is the dry weight

For the crunchy topping you will need;

  1. 65g dairy free cheese
  2. One teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
  3. One tablespoon of breadcrumbs

Method;

  • Start by heating the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once the oil has warmed up, add in the onion and the lardons. Give them around ten minutes to cook, stirring occasionally. When the onion softens, and the lardons are beginning to go crispy around the edges, set them aside
    DSC_0712-picsay.JPG
  • Now you can move on to the sauce. Add the oil/butter/margarine into a saucepan, along with the flour. Whisk the two together until fully combined, then give them three or so minutes to cook off the flour. Slowly add the milk, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated into the sauce. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps to begin with, they should go as you keep stirring
    DSC_0715-picsay.JPG
  • Next, add in the cheese and the mustard, I also seasoned the sauce with a good pinch of white pepper. I didn’t add any salt, as there’s a fair amount in the lardons, but you can add a little salt if you like
  • While you’re making the sauce, cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. Knock a couple of minutes off the cooking time though, as it will carry on cooking while it bakes in the oven
  • Once the pasta is cooked, thoroughly drain away the water. Once it’s drained, mix the lardons, onions and the pasta through the sauce. Then transfer the mixture into an oven safe dish
    DSC_0717-picsay.JPG
  • Now you can top the pasta with the grated cheese, then the herbs, and finally the breadcrumbs
    DSC_0718-picsay.JPG
  • Bake the pasta at 220°C/200°C fan assisted/400°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top melts, and the breadcrumbs start to crisp up
  • Once it’s baked, remove it from the oven and leave it to stand for five minutes before serving

DSC_0726-picsaycccccc.JPG

This would be lovely served along with a fresh green side salad, or some crusty baked garlic bread, or both!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.