Italian Macaroni 'n Cheese with Pancetta

 

I created this recipe for a new cheese that I recently discovered called Fontiago that marries Fontina with Asiago in one creamy, tangy, aromatic cheese. It was created by Roth Käse cheese company in Wisconsin and can be purchased online at www.rothkase.com. However, you can also just buy some Fontina and Asiago cheese and use those instead. As the macaroni 'n cheese cooks in the oven, the aroma is deliciously reminiscent of wood-fired pizza, thanks to the smoky pancetta and nutty Fontiago. It's easy enough for a mid-week dinner yet sophisticated enough to serve for company, especially when paired with a side salad and red wine.

What you will need

8 ounces pancetta, diced

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound medium pasta shells

8 tablespoons butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups whole milk

4 cups (16 ounces) Wisconsin Fontiago Cheese, grated OR 2 cups Fontina and 2 cups Asiago, grated

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

a few shakes of salt and black pepper

1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, thinly sliced

1 cup (8 ounces) Parmesan Cheese, grated

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