Buttermilk Bacon Pasta Salad
Bacony comfort food that's served chilled for an easy make-ahead dinner or summer evening meal.
I’ve never been secretive about the fact that I love me some Blue Box Mac. It’s not fancy or expensive, but darnit if it’s not cheesy and delicious and perfect in its own way. I could finish a whole box on my own, left unchecked. (And did you know – btw this is NOT sponsored – that Kraft recently got rid of all its artificial ingredients? They didn’t tell anyone, and nobody noticed until they announced it. Of course a few people claimed to have, but I’m skeptical. I thought the whole thing was genius.)
Anyway, my love of macaroni and cheese extends far beyond just the classic blue box. I love Annie’s white cheddar shells, and I’ve had many delicious versions in restaurants over the years. But the very best kind? That would be homemade.
I’ll give you three reasons why: 1) Eggs. 2) Cream. 3) Non powdered cheese (In this case, Tillamook!).
Last night, I made this for myself on a day where I worked hard and then came home and did some more stuff – that creative life, yo – I had the bug and I needed to act while the muse was visiting. But it wasn’t so bad. I poured myself a beer, got myself a cookie and made myself pasta. Total carb fest, it was great. I have zero regrets. I slept like a baby.
I think that’s one of my favorite things about macaroni and cheese. It’s this mixture of creamy cheesy saltiness that is so satisfying after a long day. I know it’s not an “everyday food” – don’t worry, I eat at least one salad per day. But it will always be something I come back to when I want to really enjoy my dinner.
And this particular recipe is a favorite because it doesn’t require anything fancy. I have another favorite recipe (a Martha Stewart adaptation that mixes several amazing cheeses and is truly decadent), but I don’t usually have all that stuff in my fridge. Cheddar, on the other hand, is one of the most essential items I have on hand. 365 days a year, I have the ingredients to make this at home. Because you never know when you need the mac and cheese.