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Mac & Cheese Carbonara (Maconara) Recipe (with Video)

Fusion, American, Italian
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Discover our Mac & Cheese Carbonara (Maconara) Recipe, a International recipe perfect as a main course recipe. Download the Flavrs app for 1000+ free food videos and recipes!

Serving size

Prep 30min | Cook 30min


- Kosher salt, 2 tsp + more to taste
- 8 oz Bacon, thick cut, cubed
- 8 oz macaroni or cavatappi
- Olive oil, if needed
- 9 oz yellow cheddar cheese
- 2 Large egg yolks
- 2 clove Garlic
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 dashes Hot sauce, of choice
- 1.5 oz Pickled jalapenos, chopped
- Black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- 2 c Panko breadcrumbs
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter, melted
- 2 oz White cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
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Preparation of Pasta and Bacon
1. Fill a 12-inch high-walled skillet ⅔ of the way full with water.
2. Add the 2 teaspoons salt and bring the water to a boil.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
4. Meanwhile, add the bacon to a cold 12-inch cast iron pan.
5. Begin heating the pan over medium heat, stirring the meat periodically to ensure even browning.
6. Cook the bacon for 4-5 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked and the fat is thoroughly rendered.
7. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente (according to the box instructions).
8. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the pasta cooking liquid, then strain the pasta and place it back into the now empty high-walled skillet.
9. If the bacon is still cooking, add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pasta to prevent it from sticking, then cover the skillet with a lid to keep the pasta warm.
10. Once the bacon is cooked, spoon out about ¼ cup of the rendered fat into a heat-proof bowl, preferably with a pourable spout.
Preparation of Sauce
1. Combine 4 ounces of aged cheddar cheese, egg yolks, garlic, mustard, and hot sauce in a high-powered blender.
2. With the blender running, stream ½ cup of the still-warm pasta cooking water into the egg mixture, followed by the ¼ cup of rendered fat.
3. Blend the mixture for 10-15 seconds longer or until the sauce is homogenous and glossy.
Combining Pasta and Sauce
1. Add the cooked pasta to the cast iron skillet containing the cooked bacon (and remaining rendered fat).
2. Add the remaining 1 cup of pasta cooking water and cook the mixture over low heat while stirring with metal tongs.
3. Turn off the heat and slowly add the egg mixture straight from the blender to the pasta while stirring with metal tongs.
Final Steps
1. Turn off the heat and transfer the pasta to a large heat-proof bowl. Allow the pasta to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, combine the panko breadcrumbs, 2 ounces of aged cheddar, white cheddar, and parmesan cheese in a medium bowl.
3. Toss to thoroughly combine, then reserve until ready to use.
4. Add the remaining 3 ounces of aged cheddar to the bowl containing the slightly cooled pasta, along with the pickled jalapenos.
5. Fold to thoroughly distribute the unmelted cheese and jalapenos, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Return the pasta to the cast iron skillet, top with the prepared breadcrumbs, and gently flatten the surface.
7. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake the Macaroni for 20-25 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are well toasted and the sauce is bubbling.
8. Allow the pasta to cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

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