BLT Mac 'n' cheese

BLT Mac 'n' cheese

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • Salt

  • 1 pound ziti or macaroni

  • EVOO

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped

  • 2 leeks - trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise

  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • ½ teaspon crushed red pepper

  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, cut into pieces

  • 1½ cups shredded asiago or parmigiano-reggiano cheese

  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 2 cups baby arugula

  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn

  • juice of ½ lemon


Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water. While pasta cooks, drizzle EVOO into large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until c rsip at the edges, 3-5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Strin in the tomato paste. Stir in cream cheese until melted, then the reserved pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Pile into a casserole and top with tomatoes and remaining cheese. Bake until browned on top, 7-8 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.


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