Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese

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We survived the blizzard of 2016 and our first snow in New York! In celebration of being snowed in, we decided to splurge and treat ourselves to a truly southern, homemade dish: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with homemade pasta. Contrary to popular belief, making pasta is actually quite simple, especially when you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the Gourmet Pasta Press attachment by your side. Find the recipe below! Happy indulging!

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HOMEMADE SKILLET BAKED MAC 'N CHEESE

INGREDIENTS:
For the Pasta
5-6 cups of flour
6 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

For the Mac and Cheese
8 strips of bacon
4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of whole milk
2 1/2 bags of cheddar cheese (2 bags of sharp cheddar + 1 bag of mild cheddar)
1/4 cup of bread crumbs (optional to get the top crispier)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
For the Pasta
Mix 6 cups of flour, 6 eggs and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in your stand mixer on speed 2 using the mix hook. Once the dough is mixed, form it into a ball and lay it out on wax paper sprinkled with flour. Attach the Gourmet Pasta Press attachment to the KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the macaroni press and set your mixer to speed 6 while slowly feeding it walnut sized portions of dough. I always make sure my hands are dusted with a layer of flour so the pasta doesn't stick to me. Once you have made all of your pasta, boil a pot of water and cook the pasta about 3 minutes or until it floats and set aside.

For the Mac and Cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Chop your bacon into small cubes and cook in the skillet over medium heat until crispy and set aside. In a separate pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, add 4 tablespoons of while whisking the mixture constantly. Slowly add the 3 cups of milk (1/2 cup at a time) and continue to whisk the mixture constantly. Once the mixture has thickened up a bit, you can begin to add your cheese. I recommend add this about 1-2 cups at a time so that the cheese melts thoroughly. Remember to continue to whisk the mixture while adding the cheese. 

In a large bowl or pot combine the macaroni, cheese and bacon and mix thoroughly. Add the mixture to the skillet and top with bread crumbs if you'd like. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp. Once it has cooled off, serve it up and enjoy! 

***You can also enjoy this recipe without baking it if you want a creamier version.