It’s true that two of my children have moved out, so I am feeding less mouths each night. But there are still four of us, and two of them are ravenous teenagers. Finding dinners that are inexpensive but still satisfying is sometimes a challenge. This cheesy pasta meal fits the bill on both counts.
The addition of bacon in this recipe gives it just the right amount of added flavor. And there’s something fabulous about rotini. Sauce just clings to it and makes it irresistible. Rotini is great in casseroles too. I love this Baked Rotini with Italian Sausage, it’s always a crowd pleaser! I’m big on pasta, one of my favorite ways to serve dinner. This Spiced Chicken & Mezzi Rigatoni is one of my favorites! I’ve also been eyeing this Ziti with Portobello Mushrooms and hope to give it a try soon.
Cook and crumble or chop the bacon. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet and turn heat up to medium-high. Add the butter and oil, stir, then add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Add the flour, cook one minute, then stir in the mustard. Gradually add milk, whisking the whole time, bring it to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened. Take it off the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Add in the cheese and season it to taste. Lastly, whisk until smooth.
Drain your hot cooked pasta and toss with cheese mixture. Add in the bacon and peas. You can add small amounts of pasta water to loosen the mixture if it’s too thick.
- 2 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces rotini
- ¾ cup frozen green peas, thawed
- Bring pot of water to a boil and add rotini noodles, cooking until al dente. Drain, but reserve one cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon and chop or crumble.
- Leaving the bacon grease in the skillet, turn heat up to medium-high. Add butter and oil and stir with a wooden spoon. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in mustard. Gradually add 1 cup milk, whisking continuously; bring mixture to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Add cheese and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
- Drain hot pasta and immediately toss it with the cheese mixture. Add in peas and bacon. If mixture is too sticky or thick, add small amounts of pasta water to loosen.