Give an Italian twist to the all-time favorite mac and cheese with Parmesan and pancetta, and then stuff it into a pie.
Mac and cheese… Need I say more? It’s probably one of the most popular comfort foods for most Americans. The cheesy and gooey sauce just makes everyone crazy about it, and I understand, because it really is that good. To give it an Italian twist, I used Parmesan cheese and fried pancetta to make a pasta dish that’s decidedly rich. But it doesn’t end there — it is also baked in puff pastry pies to create a homier feel.
Mini mac and cheese pies with Parmesan and pancetta recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 7 ounces macaroni pasta
- 3 ounces pancetta, diced
- 2 store-bought round puff pastries
- 3 slices individually wrapped sliced cheese
- 1 egg, lightly whisked (for egg wash)
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. When it melts, sprinkle in the flour while whisking to create a roux. Pour the milk in gradually while whisking. When the sauce is smooth, add the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a small dry saucepan over medium heat, fry the pancetta until crispy. Drain the oil, and set the pancetta aside.
- In a pot, boil water for the pasta. When it boils, season with salt, and add the pasta. Cook, following the directions on the package less 1 minute or until al dente (because it will still cook in the oven).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- With 1 puff pastry laid flat on the table, cut 3 round shapes with a knife using the baking dishes as basis for measuring. Include the sides of the baking dishes so that the puff pastry can drape over.
- Grease each baking dish, and then lay 1 puff pastry in each. Prick the puff pastry with a fork.
- In a bowl, mix together the pasta, cheese sauce and pancetta. Transfer the pasta to the 3 baking dishes.
- Top each dish with the sliced cheese.
- With the second puff pastry laid flat on the table, cut 3 more round shapes with a knife to use as the covers for the pies. Pinch the sides of the puff pastry to seal them, and prick them on top with a fork.
- Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash.
- Place the pies on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.