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Sweet Potato & Bacon Mac and Cheese
I love mac and cheese. I've been faithful and true to my mac and cheese recipe for years, which is probably why I felt like I was cheating on it when I made this mac and cheese. We're talking total guilt. I mean, I incorporated some of my standard mac and cheese recipe into it, but it still felt so wrong. And then I ate it and loved it. I just don't know where I stand now. They are two different macs, and I do love them both. This baby has bacon. How can you not love that? And it even sneaks in a vegetable. Weird right? But it totally works. You just gotta be sure to puree that sweet potato pretty good and you end up with a nice creamy sauce. Give it a go and tell me what you think. It's feeling way to much like Sophie's choice for me!
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups milk
2 cups sweet potato, small cube (1/2 inch or less)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp hot sauce (I'm loyal to Frank's)
1 lb elbow noodles
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the red onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
2. Add in the milk and sweet potato and bring to a boil, stirring frequently as to not scald the milk. Reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft, about 15 minutes (actual time will depend on how big your sweet potato cubes are. The smaller the better).
3. Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions.
4. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, pour the saucepan contents into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cayenne, paprika, salt, cheddar, Parmesan, and hot sauce. It should still be hot enough to melt the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, blend it up again to bring back some of the creaminess.
5. Pour the sauce over the cooked noodles. Garnish with bacon and green onion.