California Avocado, Bacon & Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese
Nutritional Highlights (per serving)
|1||tsp.||salt, plus more for cooking pasta|
|1||lb.||fusilli (corkscrew) pasta|
|3/4||lb.||low sodium bacon|
|3||cups||half and half|
|2||cups||firmly packed low fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese|
|1/4||tsp.||freshly ground black pepper|
|1||ripe Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and diced|
|1||large fresh tomato, finely diced|
|1/2||cup||thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts, optional|
As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados
- Bring a large (6- to 8-quart) pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Stir in pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the empty pot.
- Meanwhile, place a large (12- to 14-inch) sauté pan over high heat for several minutes. When hot, add bacon and sauté until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and, using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Let bacon cool then finely dice.
- Pour off fat from pan (into a heatproof container) and return pan to medium-high heat. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower heat to medium and continue to simmer until the cream is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
- Add cheddar cheese and bacon. Stir well and cook over medium-high heat, stirring now and then, until the cheese has melted and the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently stir in the diced avocado and tomatoes.
- Pour the sauce into the cooked and drained pasta in the pot. Place over medium heat and simmer 1 minute to thicken the sauce and allow pasta to absorb the flavors, stirring now and then.
- Serve in individual bowls topped with a sprinkle of sliced green onions.
*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Copyright © 2013, Lisa Schroeder