Inspired by Ottawa Illinois’ tapas bar Corner 230’s Bleu Cheese Guacamole with Bacon brings forth a baked macaroni and cheese dish using pancetta and bleu cheese giving foreplay to the avocado as the star ingredient. It’s a simple easy dish to create that can be made ahead and baked for service. —ArtisanCreations
In a stock pot bring salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente then drain and quickly cool under cold water.
In a stainless steel sauce pot saute the pancetta until it is golden and crisp.
With a slotted spoon remove pancetta from the rendered fat and drain on a paper towel.
Add flour to the rendered fat and stir until and cook for about 30 seconds over medium low heat to make a blond roux. The pot will still be hot from sauteing the pancetta.
Add milk slowly whisking into the roux and bring to a simmer. When sauce starts to simmer add the cream cheese in little pieces and continue to stir until incorporated. Continue whisking and add the Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Remove pan from the heat and let set. Peel and dice the avocado and add to the sauce. To puree the sauce use an immersion blender or a whisk. Do not puree all the way as you need to leave small pieces for texture.
Fold the drained and cooled pasta and half of the bleu cheese into the sauce and pour into individual bakable soup bowls or one 2 quart baking dish. Top with remaining bleu cheese and clean rim of the bowls.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the bleu cheese starts to brown. Garnish with cooked pancetta and serve.
Can be made the day ahead and covered in plastic wrap and refridgerated until ready to bake. Allow to come to room temperature before baking. For best results make day of before baking.