BLT Creamy Mac 'n' Cheese (Rachael Ray)

"A 30 minute meal from Rachael Ray. A Mac N Cheese for grown-ups. YUM. One of the reviewers on her website said that next time they may add a can of drained diced tomatoes to the top instead of the cherry tomatoes. . .just a thought!"
photo by Karen Elizabeth photo by Karen Elizabeth
photo by Karen Elizabeth
photo by Starrynews photo by Starrynews
Ready In:




  • Preheat the oven to 500°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
  • While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Stir in half of the shredded cheese, then the reserved pasta cooking water.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Pile into a casserole and top with the tomatoes and remaining shredded cheese. Bake until browned on top, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, toss the arugula and basil with the lemon juice and a drizzle of EVOO. Serve on top of the pasta.

Questions & Replies

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  1. rosslare
    Wonderful! I added the cherry tomatoes to bacon and leeks to saute them a bit.
  2. Karen Elizabeth
    Oh my gosh, so very very good! The bacon, red pepper flakes and tomato paste lift mac'n'cheese to sublime heights, the cream cheese gives a smooth rich sauce and the asagio (I used parmesan) is the crowning glory, this is wonderful!!! I used fresh tomatoes, diced, and DH and I Feasted.... I cut the recipe in half for just us, and wish I hadn't, it gave us a meal plus ONE office lunch, I could have eaten this all week!! :D I used small shells for the pasta, which worked very well, and I did do the 'salad' on top, but it works very well without as well! Just marvellous, JB..... made for Aus/NZ swap#35
  3. Starrynews
    This is wonderful! I used penne, low fat cream cheese, and the diced tomatoes on top. Very filling and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!
  4. Colleen321
    Just made it tonight. Very good! Did not make any changes



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