Mac and Cheese Carbonara

based on a recipe from Throwdown with Bobby Flay.


  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 6 c. milk
  • 3/4+ lb. cheddar (about 3+ c. grated)
  • 1/4+ lb. fontina cheese (about 1+ c. grated)
  • 1/2+ lb. asiago cheese (about 2+ c. grated)
  • 1/4+ lb. grated parmesan cheese (about 1/2+ c. grated)
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 T. flour
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 1 scant teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 t. chopped fresh thyme)
  • 1 t. cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of 9"x13" (3 qt) baking dish and set aside.
  2. Boil the macaroni until somewhat shy of al dente (the macaroni I used said to cook 8-10 minutes, and I cooked it about 7 minutes).  Drain and set aside.
  3. Warm the milk over low heat. Don't scald it.
  4. Grate all your cheeses.  I use the shredder attachment on my Kitchenaid stand mixer, which makes short work of the cheeses.  Grate some extra cheese (that's what the plus signs in the ingredient list refer to) to top.
  5. Chop the bacon (I actually use kitchen shears) and cook in a large (8 quart) pan over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate.  Drain fat from pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon.
  6. Add the garlic to the pan. Cook until it just begins to brown. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Whisk in 6 cups of hot milk, and increase the heat to high.  Whisk constantly until thickened (about 3-5 minutes).
  8. Add about a 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs and whisk, to temper the eggs (so you don't end up with scrambled eggs), and then whisk the eggs back into the milk mixture in the pan, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and whisk in the thyme, cayenne, and the cheeses (the amounts listed, ignoring the plus signs). Once the cheeses have fully melted, season with salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce is too thick, add addition hot milk 1/4 cup at a time.
  10. Place the macaroni in a large bowl, add the cheese sauce, the bacon, and the chopped parsley. Stir until combined.
  11. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with additional cheese, covering the top.
  12. Bake in the oven until the top is lightly golden brown (12-15 minutes). Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.