This recipe is perfect for holiday entertaining! It’s an interactive appetizer that both kids and adults go crazy for. After cross-hatching a loaf of French bread I stuff it with mozzarella, butter, garlic, and pesto. Then of course….we add MORE cheese before sticking it in the oven. I love serving it with marinara sauce and you’ve been warned that you’ll likely need at least two loaves to satisfy a crowd.
PERFECT FOR A PARTY
Consider making this dish for your next party. You can prep it in advance and pop it in the oven just before serving. As the cheese melts and the butter crisps the bread it makes for irresistible bites.
4 cup Borden Cheese Sharp Cheddar Thick Cut Shreds
1/2 cup Borden Cheese Parmesan Shreds
1/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crisped, fat reserved
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Pre-heat oven to 425o F. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
In an extra-large oven-proof skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in the dry mustard and cayenne pepper, and then gradually add the Borden® Sharp Cheddar Thick Cut Shreds, stirring constantly until all of the cheese has melted into the sauce. Stir in the remaining 1 cup milk. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Coat the breadcrumbs with reserved bacon fat and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the skillet. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup Borden® Parmesan Shreds.
Bake until the top is browned, and the sauce is bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Top with crumbled cooked bacon. Garnish with parsley and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
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