Mac and Cheese with Artichoke, Bacon and Sweet Peas

By: Elif @elifisikalverson

Prepare ahead and bake it before serving. There's plenty to go around for lunch and dinner, and if you're lucky, there'll be some leftovers for the next day! 

Prep Time: 
15 minutes
Cook Time: 
45 minutes
Servings: 
4-6
Ingredients: 

1 can of Reese Quartered Artichoke Hearts
1 pound of elbow pasta
1 pound of bacon, cut into small slices
2 tablespoons of bacon drippings
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
2-3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of pasta water
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper

Directions: 
Bacon Bits:
1. Place the sliced bacon in a medium-hot large pot and as it heats, break the bacon apart while stirring. Cook the bacon until it is fully cooked about 10-15 minutes. Take the bacon out with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
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Roux:
2. In a large pan, add two tablespoons of bacon fat, 3 tablespoons of butter and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, salt and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon, mixing until they’re well combined and the mixture looks smooth.
3. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Cook until it thickens over low heat, string constantly for about 5-7 minutes.
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Pasta:
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit Degrees. Cook the pasta half of the time listed in the instructions on the box. It usually cooks about in 8-10 minutes so you will need only 4-5 minutes to cook it since it will be baked.
5. Take the roux off the heat and stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, until cheese is melted and the sauce is thicker.
6. Add 1 cup of peas, 1 can of drained Reese Quartered Artichoke Hearts and half of the bacon bits into the cheese sauce.
7. Put macaroni in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well. Place the rest of the cheddar cheese (about 1 cup) and the rest of the bacon bits (about ½ lb.) on top
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the top is a beautiful golden color. Serve it hot and enjoy the rest of the day!!!